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  • Writer's pictureDAWG NEWS DAILY

Georgia Downs Jacksonville, 69-58

Georgia basketball player Kario Oquendo (3) during a game against Jacksonville at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)

ATHENS, Ga. – Following last Wednesday’s upset victory over Memphis, the University of Georgia men’s basketball team earned its second-consecutive win, prevailing 69-58 over Jacksonville Tuesday evening before 6,017 spectators at Stegeman Coliseum.

Senior Braelen Bridges led Georgia (4-5) with 14 points and five rebounds, while graduate Jailyn Ingram posted 12 points and sophomore Jabri Abdur-Rahim tallied 10. Sophomore Kario Oquendo led the Bulldogs in other major categories with six rebounds and five assists. For the evening, Georgia shot 48.9 percent from the field, its third-highest clip of the season.

“It wasn’t our best game, but we got through it,” said Georgia head coach Tom Crean following the game. “That’s a good team with a good young coach. Our guys persevered without one of their teammates. On the outside, that may seem simpler than what it is. It’s not. They’ve grown to be a very comradery-driven group.”

In the early going, Jacksonville (4-3) set the pace, taking the lead on a 3-pointer and extending it to 11-6 with a pair of second chance baskets before the first media break. Georgia responded after the timeout with strong play inside the paint, eventually tying the game on a driving Ingram layup before retaking the lead at the line.

The Bulldogs’ stretch would eventually balloon to a 13-4 run, culminating in a triple from senior Noah Baumann. With the Dolphins looking to narrow the margin in the final minute, graduate Aaron Cook connected from outside to give the Bulldogs a 32-24 lead at the half.

Georgia’s offense continued to play well as the second half opened, outscoring Jacksonville, 7-1, in the first three minutes of play. The Bulldogs then entered a slump, going over five minutes without a field goal while losing Ingram to an injury in the process. Fortunately, the Dolphins also struggled from the field, helping maintain a double-digit advantage as they did not make a field goal until the 11:31 mark of the half.

Jacksonville’s offense awakened midway through the period, embarking on a 12-4 run led by redshirt sophomore forward Mike Marsh. Now only leading by seven, Georgia earned much-needed points in the form of a three from freshman Christian Wright with eight minutes remaining. With both teams in the bonus, the Dolphins attempted one last rally, but Abdur-Rahim restored the lead to 13 by the final media timeout. The Bulldogs proceeded to seal their win at the line with six straight makes.

“(Jailyn)’s an incredible young man,” said Crean. “We don’t do what we’ve done to this point without him. He’s getter better. If we don’t have him, then we have people who have to step up even more.”

Georgia now heads into an 11-day break for final exams before returning to the court against George Mason on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum. The game kicks off a pre-holiday stretch of three games in five days, all of which will be streamed on SEC Network+.

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