Georgia Posts Win Over Arkansas, 99-89, With Record-Breaking Crowd
Athens, Ga. - The Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks on Saturday night, 99-89, in front of a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum.
This crowd officially breaks the program’s all-time total attendance record set in Coach Crean’s inaugural season in Athens, now up to 154,064 fans to surpass the 148,780 set last season. The Bulldogs drew a crowd of 10,000 plus for the 10th this season, surpassing the previous record of nine crowds of 10,000 or more in 2002-03.
“First off, I just can’t thanks the fans enough for setting this record,” Georgia Head Coach Tom Crean said. “I will thank the students again on Wednesday night when we set that student attendance record, and I just found out that we had our 10th game of 10,000 plus which is another school record. We don’t win this game tonight without the fans. We just don’t. Momentum was up for grabs so much inside of this game. We were rolling and then all of the sudden with the fouls it was like the air went out of the building. The air went out of us at the end of the first half. We regrouped and it was a game of runs. It was a game of adjustments. It was an exciting game, trying to figure out different things. At the end of the day, when we had to get the stops and we had to get the finishes, our crowd went to a different level. And that is the way it has been all year. That is what you envision when you have a desire to build a program. You envision fans doing that with you and I can’t thank them enough.”
Led by Anthony Edwards for the 19th time this season, the freshman tallied 26 points. The Georgia victory was a team effort, with six Bulldogs in double figures. Along with Edwards’ 13th 20-point performance, junior Rayshaun Hammonds tallied 22 points, marking the sixth time he has passed 20 points this season and the eighth time in his career. Other Bulldogs in double figures included seniors Tyree Crump (14) and Jordan Harris (11) and freshmen Sahvir Wheeler (11) and Toumani Camara (10).
Edging the Razorbacks on the boards, 40-29, Harris and Hammonds led the way for the Bulldogs with nine rebounds apiece, a season high for Harris.
After Georgia opened the game on a 9-0 run that was capped with a dunk from Hammonds, the Bulldogs forced Arkansas to call an early timeout. Out of the timeout, the Bulldogs continued their scoring streak, shooting a perfect 3-of-3 to extend to the 14-0 lead to force another timeout by the Razorbacks.
Prevented from scoring for nearly all five of the opening minutes, Arkansas eventually got on the board with a three-point shot. However, Georgia continued its impressive shooting throughout the first 10 minutes, shooting 8-of-10 as part of a 6-0 run to grab the 13-point lead, 24-11, with 11:52 to play.
Yet, the Bulldogs continued to extend their lead, grabbing the largest advantage up to that point of 18 as a result of another perfect shooting streak, 4-of-4, including back-to-back shots from behind the arc from Edwards.
Exceptional defense held Arkansas to no field goals for over six minutes. Georgia then experienced a drought of its own, allowing Arkansas to get within single digits for the first time since the opening minutes. The Bulldogs, however, were able to hold onto their lead to head into the locker room ahead, 47-39.
Although Arkansas was able to cut its deficit to three shortly after the half, Georgia went 5-for-7 from the field to regain the eight-point advantage.
Roughly halfway through the second frame, a tip-in from Camara pushed the Bulldogs’ lead back to double digits.
The Razorbacks cut into Georgia’s advantage getting it down to one, 73-72, with 6:28 to play in regulation. Both times Arkansas began to close in on Georgia, Crump came up big with an acrobatic layup.
He also drained a shot from behind the arc with 1:35 to play to make it a two-possession game. Crump ended the night 4-of-6 from the three-point line.
While Arkansas drained a 3-pointer in the final minute, Edwards answered with a jam to ice the game. However, Edwards wasn’t quite done, completing an an-one play on Georgia’s final possession to solidify the 99-89 victory.
The Bulldogs return once more to Stegeman Coliseum to host the Florida Gators on Wednesday, Mar. 4 at 7 p.m. for their final home matchup of the season. Georgia will recognize its three seniors, Crump, Harris and graduate transfer Donnell Gresham Jr. prior to Wednesday’s contest. Those ceremonies will begin at approximately 6:40 p.m.