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Georgia Basketball

Georgia wins three straight SEC games for the first time since 2017

February 6, 2021
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ATHENS- Unlike most football games, Georgia and Vanderbilt’s basketball matchup on Saturday night was a tight contest, but the Bulldogs escaped Stegeman Coliseum with a victory. 

Georgia did not get a chance to play Vanderbilt this season on the gridiron, so Saturday night’s game served as their chance to assert their dominance on the Commodores. Asserting dominance isn’t what happened, but Georgia (12-6, 5-6) did beat Vanderbilt (5-9, 1-7), squeaking by 73-70. 

The Bulldogs are on a three-game win streak in conference games. That is the first time Georgia has won three straight Southeastern Conference (SEC) games in four years and the first time under head coach Tom Crean.

“I think it’s huge. The prognosticators picked us 13th (in the SEC) at the beginning of the year,” Crean said.

Georgia currently sits at seventh in conference standings, which is way ahead of what any of the so-called “experts” projected the Bulldogs to be. 

P.J. Horne finally showed everyone why Crean gave him the greenlight when he transferred to Georgia. Horne shot 80% from beyond the arc, hitting four of his five three-point attempts. He was the leader of Georgia’s solid shooting performance, where they shot 46.7% as a unit from deep. 

Horne was the leading shooter, but Sahvir Wheeler was quietly the leading scorer, slashing his way to 16 points on the night. Wheeler led all scorers in this game, beating out his point guard counterpart in Scotty Pippen Jr. Pippen averages over 20 points per-game, so it is promising that Georgia was able to hold him to 12 points. 

Part of the reason Pippen was slowed down was because of the tough defense by Jaxon Etter. Etter played 14.5 minutes against Vanderbilt, which is way above his average. He provided several positive contributions while on the floor, including a drawn charge, nice cuts and tight defense. 

“He came in, his number was called and he was ready to play,” Horne said. 

Etter provides a lot of energy, which may be difficult to ask of a player who does not see the floor often. 

“He is a ‘play on demand’ player. He is ready everytime he is asked,” Crean said. “He is always ready when you put him in there, and he has a great attitude”

There were a lot of positives for the Bulldogs against Vanderbuilt, but there was one glaring negative that has haunted them all season. Georgia committed 21 turnovers compared to the Commodores’ 13. This is the main reason why Georgia did not win by more than one score. 

Despite the turnover issues, Georgia is on a winning streak and they have momentum. 

Up Next

Georgia has two road games before they get a chance to play in Athens again. The first of the two comes against Texas A&M, which seems to be another winnable game for the Bulldogs. Texas A&M has had some recent issues with positive COVID-19 cases within their program. Contact tracing is being done, but it is yet to be known whether Wednesday’s game will happen or not.


 

 
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