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Georgia Basketball

Tennessee downs Georgia 89-81 despite Bulldogs' comeback effort

February 10, 2021

Georgia had their biggest challenge to date when they took on Tennessee, but extending their winning streak to four games was a task that ended up being too great. 

Tennessee (14-4, 7-4) is the only team in the Southeastern Conference that has been ranked throughout the entirety of the season, and that will not change after they held onto a 89-81win over Georgia (12-7, 5-7) in Thompson-Boling Arena. Georgia’s poor first half performance is ultimately why they could not win this game. 

Tennessee led 44-26 at halftime, and Georgia’s 26 points are tied for the lowest total that they have squandered in a single half this season. In turn, it was one of the worst halves of basketball that Georgia has played in the current campaign. 

Shooting 34.5% from the field and 30% from distance are definitely huge contributors to the lack of scoring for Georgia in the first half. Tennessee having a solid shooting performance did not help Georgia in trying to maintain a close deficit. 

Georgia’s second half effort was much better. The Bulldogs actually outscored Tennessee 55-45. Most of that scoring came in the last 15 minutes of the game, as Georgia only managed two points in the first three and a half minutes of the second half. 

Walk-on Jaxon Etter started the second half after his huge performance against Vanderbilt last Saturday. He seemingly earned more playing time, racking up 19 minutes, which is way above his season average. 

Georgia slowly worked their way back into the game and a 9-0 in the middle of the second half allowed them to cut the lead to 13 points. 

KD Johnson led the charge for the Bulldogs in the midst of dropping a career-high 22 points against the Volunteers. Seven of those points came in the last few minutes as he played with a sense of urgency while Georgia was down, showing how powerful he is in driving to the hoop. 

The Bulldogs had a horrible first half, but they fought extremely hard at the end of the game to keep themselves alive. The lead was as little as seven points with just over half of a minute to play in the game. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough, but there is a lot to be said about how they never gave in- something that can’t be said about some of the other losses for head coach Tom Crean’s squad.

Georgia has had trouble guarding talented guards this season, and Tennessee boasts two of them in their backcourt. Against the Bulldogs, it was Jaden Springer that had himself a night, dominating the game with 30 points on 82% shooting from the field. 

For what it’s worth to the bettors out there, Tennessee was unable to cover the 13.5 points spread that they were favored by, and that is because of Georgia's late game efforts to win in comeback fashion. 

Up Next

Georgia has now completed the first game in a three-game stretch where they are facing the only three teams in the SEC that are ranked. The Bulldogs will travel to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama on Saturday before returning home for a Tuesday night home matchup against Missouri.


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