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Georgia Basketball

Georgia remains unbeaten, tops Cincinnati 83-68

December 19, 2020

ATHENS- Don’t look now, but Georgia is off to their best start in almost 20 years. 

The Georgia Bulldogs (6-0) handled the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-4)  by a score of 83-68 Saturday night in Stegeman Coliseum. 

The talk all week was centered around how Cincinnati is a much bigger and more physical team than Georgia. Cincinnati plays tough, gritty basketball, while the Bulldogs boast an uptempo style. 

Georgia head coach Tom Crean has a lot of respect for Cincinnati's program.

“They are by far the most physical and biggest team that we’ll have seen,” Crean said ahead of the game. 

Just looking at the starting lineups is all someone needs to determine that Cincinnati is the bigger team. Cincinnati’s starting center Chris Vogt is listed at 7’1” and 260 lbs. 

Sophomore Toumani Camara stands at 6’8”. That makes him the tallest player in Georgia’s starting lineup.

“Do you want the honest truth? I was scared to death,” Crean said.

That is a glaring size difference which makes the rebounding numbers the most notable stat of the ball game. The much smaller Georgia Bulldogs outrebounded Cincinnati 39-38. 

Camara returned to the starting lineup for Georgia after missing the last game against Samford with a “lower body” injury. He notched a team-high 19 points and 10 rebounds in his return to action. His energy and rebounding was obviously missed against Samford, as the Bulldogs narrowly escaped last Saturday night with a victory. 

“It’s one of my biggest roles to rebound, so I’m definitely going into every game with that mindset,” Camara said. 

Georgia played their best first half of basketball in this game by a longshot. They outrebounded the Bearcats 26-18 in the first half, and eight of those can be attributed to Camara. Georgia was just the better defensive team in this game, holding Vogt to just one first half field goal attempt and five rebounds.

Jeremiah Davenport led the Bearcats with 18 points off the bench in the loss, while Keith Willaims, Cincinnati’s leading scorer through five games, finished with 14 points. 

Georgia finished out the last 7:32 of the first half on a 26-4 run to secure a 49-26 halftime lead. Georgia showed out in transition, and that continues to be where the Bulldogs are most dangerous. 

Cincinnati opened up the second half by going on a 7-0 run, but whenever the Bearcats were able to get some offense going, Georgia would respond. Georgia’s lead never dipped under 12 points in the second half.

Georgia only trailed for a total of 0:50 in this game, and that deficit came very early in the first half. 

The Bulldogs had four players score in double figures. Tye Fagan was very active, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds. Sahvir Wheeler had a steady game, as he walked off the court with 12 points and a team-leading seven assists. 

Coming into this matchup, Georgia opened the season 5-0. That marked the best start for this program since the 2001-02 season. 

This start did not come without some skepticism. Georgia has played an easy schedule up until playing the Bearcats. A strong victory will likely silence a lot of the Bulldogs’ doubters. 

Tennessee is considered to be the best basketball team in the SEC this season, and Cincinnati played better against them in a 65-56 loss a week ago. Cincinnati kept that game close for the majority of the contest. That makes this win even more impressive for Georgia. 

Georgia is now 6-0, but the team is taking it one game at a time.

“It’s not about winning streaks. it’s about getting on a one-game win streak,” Crean said. 

With a big win under their belt, Georgia rounds out it’s non-conference schedule against Northeastern on Tuesday at home. Georgia will then have an eight-day break before facing Mississippi State in their first SEC game of the season. 

Cincinnati has now dropped three straight games and will look to pick it up against UCF on Tuesday.


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