Wheeler’s Historic Performance Leads Georgia to 91-78 Upset Over LSU
ATHENS, Ga. – A historic triple-double performance from sophomore Sahvir Wheeler led the University of Georgia basketball team to a 91-78 win over LSU, on Tuesday evening before 1,638 fans at Stegeman Coliseum.
Wheeler’s triple-double performance marked the first in the program’s 116-season history with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists. Sophomore Toumani Camara notched a double-double that led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 10 rebounds. This marks Camara’s seventh double-double of the season which leads the SEC.
Freshman K.D. Johnson and junior Tye Fagan followed close behind with 21 and 18 points, respectively. Johnson, who had a career-high of four assists, also posted his third 20-point performance in Georgia’s last five games.
"I had no idea on the triple double until the end of the game when John Bateman told me,” Georgia head coach Tom Crean said. “It's phenomenal, and it's incredible when you think about how many years they've played basketball here—116 years, and it's the first time it has happened....We had a lot of high-level energy and effort basketball out of these guys, and they established early on that they were going to play with toughness. I said to them today, ‘That the team to establish the toughness was going to be the team that got the running game,’ because it's hard to get your running game going, consistently, if you're taking the ball out of the net.”
The contest started with an early lead by the Bulldogs. Back-to-back jumpers by Fagan and graduate Justin Kier contributed to a 10-0 run over the Tigers. Georgia held a five-point advantage with points scored by Wheeler, Johnson, and graduate Andrew Garcia.
Georgia benefitted from a LSU scoring drought by maintaining a steady lead. With the score tightening, points scored by Camara and Fagan kept the Bulldogs out front. Georgia’s advantage extended to 16 at the one-minute mark. Camara ended the half with a buzzer-beating layup, bringing the score to 45-29 at the half.
The Bulldogs’ success continued in the opening minutes of the second half with Georgia responding to all points scored by LSU. With multiple Tiger-turnovers and back-and-forth exchanges, the Bulldogs maintained an ample lead.
Midway through the half, a three-pointer from graduate P.J. Horne and a jumper from Johnson extended Georgia into its largest lead of the night with 22. Leading into the final minutes of the contest, the Bulldogs stayed in front for good with Wheeler’s final layup clinching the win.
“So many times, our guys got the rebound,” said Crean. “We got out ahead, and we didn't have too many live-ball turnovers in the first half, which made a huge difference to us. We had a lot of really good contributions. K.D. [Johnson] did an excellent job. P.J. [Horne] made threes. Tye Fagan did outstanding! We had a lot of really good basketball. They've done a great job bouncing back from the other day. They just continue to show resilience. They just continue to get better every day."
Georgia remains home for Senior Day against South Carolina (5-11, 3-9) on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Stegeman Coliseum. The matchup with the Gamecocks is set for 1 p.m. tip time and will be broadcast on the SEC Network.