ATHENS, Ga. – The Georgia men’s basketball team escaped LSU after Russel Tchewa hit the game-winning bucket with just 2.3 seconds remaining to secure the win, 68-66, before 9,243 spectators on Wednesday evening inside Stegeman Coliseum.
Tchewa’s heroics also included a double-double effort, as he tallied 11 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks on the night. Silas Demary Jr. led the team in scoring with 15 points and a pair of steals, while Noah Thomasson also contributed 11 points. The Bulldogs (14-5, 4-2 SEC) outscored the Tigers (11-8, 3-3 SEC) in paint points, 32-22, and are now 3-0 in games decided by three points or fewer this season.
Despite seven turnovers in the first 8:30 of the game, the Bulldogs managed to keep the game close in the first half, leading 35-33 with 11 points from Demary Jr. heading into the locker room. RJ Melendez opened the second half with an authoritative dunk in transition to grow the team’s advantage to eight points, forcing a Tigers’ timeout. Headed into the under-eight media timeout, the Bulldogs maintained a 57-52 lead following Thomasson’s second 3-pointer of the evening. Georgia led by as many as nine with just over five minutes to go, but LSU managed to pull it within two points with two minutes remaining. The Tigers’ Jalen Cook converted a three-point play to give his team a one-point lead with 17 seconds remaining. After getting the ball back, Jabri Abdur-Rahim took an open 3-pointer that was slightly off the mark, but Tchewa hauled in the offensive rebound and sank a second-chance opportunity and the ensuing free throw to confirm the win with 2.3 seconds left. The victory gave the Bulldogs their eighth win in the last inside Stegeman Coliseum versus the Tigers.
Georgia will continue conference play in Gainesville, Fla., on Saturday, Jan. 27 at noon ET against Florida inside the Stephen O’Connell Center. The game will be nationally broadcast on ESPN2. The Bulldogs will be looking for their first win against the Gators since 2019.
Five Fast Facts
• Silas Demary Jr., who had 15 points to lead Georgia, finished the night 6-for-6 from the free throw line to improve to 31-for-36 from the charity stripe over the last four games.
• Russel Tchewa’s 11-point, 11-rebound effort marked the 11th double-double of his career and the second of this season. 11 rebounds also tied his season high.
• Georgia’s win over LSU marked the second time this season the Bulldogs had more turnovers than assists and won the game. The Bulldogs are 2-3 when holding a negative assist-to-turnover ratio.
• Wednesday’s game marked the 119th meeting between Georgia and LSU, with the Bulldogs now winning their 30th game in Athens.
• RJ Melendez, who had nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, is now 13-of-19 on field goal attempts in the last three games.
Head Coach Mike White: “It’s not going to be easy to win in this league and the SEC is the best defensive league in college basketball. It seems like every time we play a team, we say they are one of the best defenses in our league. Who doesn't guard you at a very high level in this league? LSU is rebuilding and we are rebuilding and tonight it was just two teams fighting it out. We can say it was ugly or a grind, but really it was ten guys out on the court that were throwing haymakers. It was a high-level game of intensity. I know everybody that played in this game is going to be tired. It was a competitive, high-level game.”
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