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Georgia Basketball

Georgia snaps 14-game losing streak to Kentucky in dramatic fashion

January 20, 2021

ATHENS- Kentucky may be having a historically bad year, but that does not take away from the significance of what Wednesday night meant to Georgia basketball. 

Georgia’s 14-game losing streak to Kentucky is no more, and coach Tom Crean will be able to dodge the question of his job security for a little bit longer. The Bulldogs endured an abysmal start to their SEC campaign, but now they have won their last two contests. 

The Georgia Bulldogs (9-4, 2-4) edged the Kentucky Wildcats (4-9, 3-3) in dramatic fashion, topping them 63-62. The score is indicative of how close the game was throughout the entirety of the evening, with neither team being able to hold onto a steady lead for longer than a few minutes. 

Graduate transfer PJ Horne put in the game-winning layup with just over a second left, and the limited crowd in Stegeman Coliseum exploded. With no timeouts, Kentucky lost the game the moment they inbounded the ball after that.

“In the huddle, all we thought about was executing the play,” Horne said. “Coach (Crean) drew that up in the last few seconds.”

Georgia may not be a prominent basketball program, but in big games in Athens, the crowd brings an energy that would make you think twice about that fact. Every steal, every dunk and every blocked shot brought the fans to their feet in this game, and that is a common theme in the Bulldogs’ home arena. 

“The energy of the crowd was tremendous, and I thought our music was great. I thought the energy was great,” Crean said. 

Stegeman Coliseum is allowing a minimum number of people in the stands, but there are moments that were reminiscent of last year’s home matchup against the Wildcats that featured current NBA players in Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Maxey and Immanuel Quickley.

The crowd was especially loud when the Bulldogs were in transition, and Justin Kier was a regular in that aspect of the game against Kentucky. Kier had five steals, helping Georgia play fast in transition, which is where they have shown they can excel at times. Kier entered this game averaging the most steals per contest in the conference, and that title will likely remain after an outstanding defensive performance from him. 

Turnovers and steals are oftentimes a connected statistic. Tonight, Georgia committed 11 turnovers. That is a fantastic number for a team that came into the game with 17.9 turnovers per game, which ranked 335th out of 340 teams. 

The Bulldogs did not commit a turnover in the 7:25 of the game which is the complete opposite of their win over Ole Miss, where they committed five in the opening five minutes. 

Andrew Garcia led the charge for Georgia with 16 points. His work inside against a bigger and longer team was impressive, and his ability to create space with his body allowed to to score at a high clip. 

Georgia won the game, but they did not hide from some of their weaknesses. Most notably, the shot selection was not ideal. There were many three-pointers that were errantly jacked up. Lucky for the Bulldogs, Kentucky matched that energy with poor shot selection of their own, making certain runs in this matchup look like a pickup game. 

Up Next

The Florida Gators will make the trip to Athens on Saturday for a 2:00 tip-off. Georgia has momentum now with two straight wins, and they will look to make it a third against the Gators, who just dismantled a Tennessee team that is widely considered to be the best squad in the SEC.


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