Foul shooting derails Georgia in humiliating overtime loss to Iona, 81-78

Georgia's Brandon Morris gets his shot contested by Iona's Curtis Dennis (33) and Tavon Sledge during the Bulldogs' 81-78 overtime loss on Saturday. (AP photo by Richard Hamm)

Georgia's Brandon Morris gets his shot contested by Iona's Curtis Dennis (33) and Tavon Sledge during the Bulldogs' 81-78 overtime loss on Saturday. (AP photo by Richard Hamm)

ATHENS – You got the feeling when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made a half-court shot at the halftime buzzer, this might be Georgia’s night.

It wasn’t.

Instead, the Bulldogs did what has been typical of them this season. They missed free throws and key shots down the stretch and watched in disbelief as Iona made all the clutch plays to win 81-78 in overtime.

The loss dropped Georgia to 2-7 – its worst nine-game start since 1970 — and adds to the list of defeats to small-time opponents, including Youngstown State and Southern Miss. Mercer (5-5) is up next on Tuesday.

The Gaels, a New York team out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, improved to 4-4.

“That was a tough loss,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “I’m sick of losing, as our team is, but we’ve got to play better basketball. That’s taking nothing away from Iona because they made a lot of big baskets to beat us. You have to give them credit for that. But we missed 16 free throws in the second half on and it’s hard to win basketball games when you do that.”

Georgia’s numbers from the foul line were mind-boggling. The Bulldogs missed nine of 15 free throws in the five-minute overtime period. That’s after missing four of five in the final 6:17 of regulation. They missed a total of 16 after halftime and were 20 of 37 for the game.

“I think we’ve shot over 6,000 free throws in practice,” said Fox, whose team came in shooting 68.7 percent from the line. “I think it might be over 6,500. And we’re shooting over 75 percent. We haven’t transferred that over to the game and that is extremely tonight. As you see tonight, those are so critical.”

Freshman Brandon Morris — getting his first career starter as junior Marcus Thornton was out with a knee injury — missed two free throws with the Bulldogs leading 66-63 with 1:11 remaining. Iona’s Sean Armand answered with a 3-pointer on the other end and Georgia missed four shots at before the buzzer.

Then freshman point guard Charles Mann, who otherwise had a career night with 18 points and 7 rebounds, missed five of his seven foul shots in overtime.

“I was pretty good (at free throws in high school),” said Mann, who said he made 78 percent from the line at Milton High. “It’s just tough. They played great and we just weren’t able to make our free throws today, me and the team.”

Still Georgia had a chance to tie the game and send it into a second overtime. Nemanja Djurisic stepped to the foul line with the Bulldogs trailing 79-77 with 3.5 seconds left. He swished the first but was short off the front rim with the second and the Gaels closed out the game from their foul line.

“We’ve got to learn how to finish,” said Caldwell-Pope, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds but also missed two fouls shots in overtime. “We always compete, we’ve just got to learn how to finish.”

Iona was led by Lamont “MoMo” Jones, a transfer from Arizona who came in eighth in the nation in scoring at 21.7 points per game. He finished with a game-high 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting. The Gaels attempted 36 3-pointers, making 12 of them.

Georgia dominated inside, getting 16 points and 10 rebounds from Donte Williams and 12 and 7 from Morris. The Bulldogs out-rebounded their opponent 48-26.

Georgia trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half but came storming back. Caldwell-Pope’s shot from beyond midcourt at the halftime buzzer gave the Bulldogs a 36-35 lead at intermission.

They built a 48-41 lead by the 13:08 mark of the second half. But after the Gaels called timeout, Fox subbed Vincent Williams and Kenny Gaines for Mann and Caldwell-Pope and Iona needed just 65 seconds to tie the game at 48-all.

Iona tied the game on Armond’s 3-pointer with 54 seconds to go in regulation, but Caldwell-Pope missed a driving layup and the Bulldogs missed three subsequent put-back chances as time ran out.

“Our team has not learned how to win yet,” Fox said. “We have put ourselves in position, but that’s something you learn as a unit and we obviously haven’t learned that yet.”

83 comments Add your comment

Bored in Newnan

December 15th, 2012
9:03 pm

Fox will get it done. Give him time.

Milledgeville Dawg

December 15th, 2012
9:08 pm

Same ole saga. UGA is an undiciplined, poorly coached team with talent that is sub SEC caliber. It does not take 4 years to build a basketball program. Come on Greg, it is time for a change.


December 15th, 2012
9:12 pm

Our Fr and So. Classes are good. Maybe there’s hope for the future.

Big time?? Not

December 15th, 2012
9:21 pm

It was bad. No discipline.

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 15th, 2012
9:24 pm

Fox made a bad call but now Overtime. Fox get the guys thinking.
UGa had ball shot clock off and took a bad with 16 seconds left. That was bad coaching. Call the TO and set a play to win.

FOX isn’t the answer to UGa’s basketball woes.

The loss to IONA is all on FOX not managing the last 30 seconds of regulation.
UGa made like 20 free throws but missed about 16.


December 15th, 2012
9:25 pm

Iona did beat Wake Forest by 26, it’s not like they are just total garbage.


December 15th, 2012
9:38 pm

I’m afraid it’s time to be thinking of a coaching change at seasons end. While Fox is a likable guy he has never really recruited well & has no assistant coach with great ties into the GA AAU pool of exceptional talent. Plus, I’m not sure that he’s a good coach, anyway. Hopefully, Greg realized while at FL that great football programs can also have great basketball programs. The talent is in state and there is plenty of $$ at the UGA Athletic Department so it must be Fox who has ALL his recruits on the court. Painful.


December 15th, 2012
9:52 pm

Fox stinks as a coach…these are all his recruits!!


December 15th, 2012
10:06 pm

SteveW, this isn’t football. Good sophomores and freshman don’t stick around. KCP is gone after this season.


December 15th, 2012
10:07 pm

Fire Mark Fox! He’s had long enough to get this program going in the right way, and this bunch is doing worse than Felton’s last year! He’s a nice guy and does a good job of taking responsibility, but he’s not going to cut it.


December 15th, 2012
10:32 pm

Fox can’t recruit. I knew it would take some time to start getting some of Georgia’s top talent. But we’re four years in and next year’s class is already another fail. Two 2 star players from out of state.


December 15th, 2012
10:49 pm

The SEC is down this year, with a couple of exceptions. Maybe Fox will surprise us.

But this losing is getting old. I won’t cry if we get a new Coach. I like Fox, but he’s got to wn sometime.


December 15th, 2012
10:54 pm

LakeDawg – Actually One of our recruits is from ga. Supposed to be the best PG in the state – but still not very highly regarded.

Felton was a better recruiter and Coach, he just couldn’t keep anybody in school or healthy. Fox can’t recruit too good, but it looks like most guys stay in school.

And Gregory at Tech is smoking us on the court and recruiting.

Get Ready! Mercer is going to Win Next

December 15th, 2012
10:55 pm

Mercer and UGA graduate here. Mercer will win next! Mark it down!


December 15th, 2012
10:57 pm

Aaron – your right – if kcp leaves after this season, next years not looking to great either.

It’s a shame we stink while KCP is here – that guy may be our best player since Willie Anderson. Hard worker hustle guy too. He deserves better.


December 15th, 2012
10:58 pm

Mercer has already beaten FSU. It won’t be an upset if they beat a Dawg team that is in a bit of disarray.


December 15th, 2012
11:00 pm

If Fox loses the next couple or 3, I think he’s in real danger of being let go before the SEC even begins Conference play. Unless his buyout is crazy or something.


December 15th, 2012
11:01 pm

Let’s see, we ran Felton off and now everyone is getting antsy and ready to unload Fox… You better start giving the guy some time to let the Frosh and Soph’s time to mature and this guy can coach. McGarity has to be patient with the program or we will have a revolving door of coaches coming and going…

Bham Dawg

December 15th, 2012
11:06 pm

It is so painful to watch Dawgs play. They look so muc out of sync. Instead of getting better as the season progresses, I think they are going in the reverse direction. Has to be the coaching and the lack of talent on the team. I know SEC is weak but if he things stay the way they are right know, Dawgs will be lucky to win 10 to 12 games this year. Is the Ga baseball team going to be good this year ??


December 15th, 2012
11:07 pm

It is an understatement to suggest the Bulldogs look overmatched in game after game…short of a major turn around this year, the question becomes whether or not this downward spiral can be corrected next year with Coach Fox or is someone else needed. UGA does not have the required talent at this point to compete effectively and this falls on the coach. It’s not that the guys are not trying, but they are just not talented enough (or coached well enough?) for the competition level of NCAA Division I basketball. If this was football with a 2 and 7 record including losses against much smaller schools, the coach would not survive the year. UGA needs to decide if it really cares about basketball, or is it just something to fill the offseason from football?


December 15th, 2012
11:12 pm


You are correct, sir. The midget PG is from GA.

Smart like a fox

December 15th, 2012
11:13 pm

lol….thats all I have….just lol……

Buzz 2011

December 15th, 2012
11:59 pm

Those ” hairy dogs” are tough.. Going down to who? Youngstown Sttate and Iona?
They were packed in at Stegeman to the tune of maybe 150 souls..High
school basketball at best….Mercer will also take them out, mark it down
Go Jackets..

Fair n Balanced

December 16th, 2012
12:11 am

Paying Fox 1 million $ per year is rediculous. He has had his chance. Lets move on with a new coach. Iona? What in the heck is a “Gael” anyway?


December 16th, 2012
12:22 am

I was at the game tonite – absolute joke.
Better free shooting from junior high teams, poor clock management,
undisciplined play all leads to another “L”. I truly want Fox to succeed,
but I’m beginning to have my doubts. One of the things UGA does not
have is a coach who can connect with the super-strong AAU programs
in the state of Georgia, and anyone who thinks that isn’t necessary in
these times probably believes that Congress looks out for our well-being.
As a 42 year & counting season ticket holder, this is really getting old !


December 16th, 2012
12:24 am

Forgot to mention that we actually played Iowa this evening, but
someone broke into their locker room & intentionally sewed an “N”
on their jerseys in place of the “W”. At least a loss to a Big Ten
team sounds a bit easier to deal with.
Someone please tell me how we can hang with Indiana & UCLA,
but lose to Youngstown State and Southern Miss


December 16th, 2012
12:35 am

Its the bad losses…Youngstown State, Iona, Southern Miss.. ALL AT HOME! Hate to say this
but I hope we just continue to suck all year and Fox gets fired. If we finish something like 11-16(which I doubt) Fox prolly be here next year and go through all this again>
Were paying 1.7 million/yr to Fox and his performance is not worthy of his pay. Time to pony up and go get Scott Drew from Baylor


December 16th, 2012
1:58 am

Buzz, why kick them when they are down?

The Georgia Way

December 16th, 2012
6:05 am

Geathers is GONE,…and JJ will be a 3rd down pass rusher at the next level. That is all.

Big time?? Not

December 16th, 2012
7:21 am

We don’t follow shots
We don’t play defense
We don’t make free throws.
We are very good at tossing the ball around the perimeter.


December 16th, 2012
7:32 am

“…humiliating overtime loss to Iona,…”

Chip, I am not sure who writes the headlines, but a loss by UGA men’s basketball to Iona is not very humiliating. It would have been humiliating if Iona had lost. Iona is a better basketball program than UGA.

This is basketball, not football.

senior citizen Dawg fan

December 16th, 2012
8:32 am

you jokers, always fire the coach!!!! Get a life that has something POSITIVE in it. Go, Dawgs!!!


December 16th, 2012
8:51 am

A lot of stuff is being bantered around, but the truth remains; UGA basketball is pitiful. I TRIED to watch some of the game with GA. Tech. After 3 minutes, it became way too painful to continue. As I have said before, after much reflection and consideration, I feel it would be best for all if UGA just disbanded it’s men’s basketball program. There has never been the level of institutional support a big time basketball program requires. This lack of institutional support manifests itself in the lack of fan support evident by attendance at the games. Clearly, there is a problem with recruiting good basketball talent. And, with the “one and done” players, it makes gaining continuity difficult in establishing the foundation for growth. From what I have heard, Coach Fox has been reluctant to get involved with the AAU types that “handle” and control a great many top basketball recruits. This is true not only in GA, but nationally as well. Whereas, this reluctance is admirable, as there is NOTHING admirable about the AAU, it makes recruitment of solid players almost impossible.

I have always felt, and voiced, the opinion that getting Billy Donavan to FL was Greg and Jeremy’s biggest coaching coup. Problem is there aren’t may Billy Donavan’s out there willing to take a chance at UGA.

My feeing is that the best bet is to build up the baseball program. Let the women’s team use Stegman for it’s games. They do continue to have some success, and should be supported accordingly. With the climate in GA, baseball can be played from late February thru CWS time. Make the program almost on the level of a minor league MLB program.

Is it painful to come to such conclusions? Absolutely. I saw the very first game in “The Coliseum” in February 1964. Although I lived out of the area for a number of years, I always hoped basketball would catch fire at UGA. Thought so for a moment when I watched the ‘Dogs wear out UNC in the NCAA tournament in the spring of 1983. Unfortunately, this success was never built apon.


December 16th, 2012
9:47 am

I watched on TV, and there were so few people in the stands, it looked like a JV game at my highschool. All you could hear was the players’ sneakers squeaking. UGA should just give free tickets to students just so it won’t be so embarrassingly empty.

UGA is the poorest shooting college team I have ever seen – it’s hard to watch.

I had just watched the second half of of the Butler vs Indiana game.

What a contrast . . .

Buzz 2011

December 16th, 2012
9:55 am

@gtfan… My intention is not to kick the Dogs while they are down.
I am just pinting out what it is, a terrible program that is sinking..
Dawg fans would never kick GT on an off year, never right?

Not a good shooter either

December 16th, 2012
11:04 am

I wasn’t a good shooter either, and blame lack of coaching and lack of personal recognition that getting better requires work with a plan. I watched and Fox didn’t miss any free throws. Practice when tired? Run when miss more than one in a row?

We played hard and KCP’s importance was vivid when he sat out a few seconds at the end.

Freshman and others contributed. Iona was good at what they did, and hopefully we learned from loss.

Why would we throw a 5 foot inbounds pass after a time out with less than 3 seconds left? At least throw it to half court so that someone would have had a chance for a couple of dribbles and a shot if we got the pass.

Hang in there guys!


December 16th, 2012
11:17 am

If you need to know how big a football factory school UGA is, just look at this basketball program. I am amazed at the lack of fan support. Even in off-seasons, Tech would fill the Thrillerdome and now, McCamish. Are you telling me that with the 34k current students and the 277k living alumni, at least half of which live in Georgia, UGA cannot put 10,523 into that basketball coliseum?


December 16th, 2012
11:19 am

Listed attendance = 4,680. I never want to hear again about Tech students and alum not filling Bobby Dodd. 44% attendance is pitiful. You should be embarrassed of the lack of support you give what has occasionally been a very good basketball program.


December 16th, 2012
11:41 am

Everyone is barking about game attendance well I went to the game. Athens was totally dead, not just te campus. That said there is no excuse for foul shooting this bad. That is what loss this game. If you are a point guard and you drive the lane get fouled and miss all free throws it is just like a turnover. Dawgs have got to improve in this area. KCP is not going anywhere cause he is not ready.


December 16th, 2012
11:43 am

I am a big supporter or Fox, but he isin over his head. This is not the direction that I thought the basketball team would be going in. His recruiting is horrible. He is not pursuing the top talent in the country and he can’t sign the top instate talent. He needs to revamp his coaching staff with better recruiters or he needs to get gone. I have never seen a UGA Basketball team with as less talent as he has recruited. UGA cannot compete with the likes of Fla. or Kentucky with what he is bringing into the program. He has to realize that what he did at Nevada is not working in the SEC and it shows on the court. The question is, could UGA beat the best HSBB team at this point and the answer is probably not. Right now the BB team sucks.

Big Bubba dawg

December 16th, 2012
11:44 am

Let’s go get Paul Hewitt and bring him back to Georgia. We wouldn’t have to pay him much since Tech is still paying him for the next five years.

UGA Supporter and Donor

December 16th, 2012
11:50 am

Amazes me how ignorant and naive Georgia fans are about basketball. Borderline hilarious. This story has benn told over and over and over since the inception of what is the most embarrassing basketball program in SEC history. Mark Fox is NOT a good basketball coach. He cannot recruit worth a dam, and has a poor quality staff, albeit underfunded by an Athletic Association who does not appropriately fund assistant coaches positions. Top all this off with the fact 90% of fans of Georgia athletics cannot see what a failure this program is. Georgia has had exactly TWO all-around competent head coaches since Hugh Durham brought the program back from the grave. That would be Tubby Smith and Jim Harrick. At this point, Greg McGarity has no choice but to find a new coach, cut our losses and start over. Leave the idiots within the University out of the search committee please. That will be difficult considering the mas number of them who know NOTHING about basketball. Find a Coach K or Coach Roy Williams alumnus…that would be a good starting point.

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 16th, 2012
11:50 am

Congrats to the (5) current and former Yellow Jackets Football players graduating on Saturday!!! David Sims Emmanuel Dieke Roderick Sweeting Jahi Word-Daniels Brad Brad J. Jefferson

Congratulations Rod. What an accomplishment brother. Enjoy it man

Emmanuel Dieke
Its official!!! Ya boy done graduated from georgia Tech!! One of the best feelings ever and well deserved!! I dont know what nexts for me but whatever it is, i know that God will guide my path!! Thank you family, friends and all those who supported ya boy! #TRU

Jahi Word-Daniels 2 hours ago near Panthersville
Finally an alumni! Going back and getting my degree…Way better feeling than playing in the NFL!! God is good!

Way to go boys.

Georgia got beat by... IONA?

December 16th, 2012
11:50 am

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 16th, 2012
11:54 am

UGa doesn’t fill Stegman because the Drunk Fake Blonde White Chicks just don’t LOVE basketball in Athens. If you offer free drinks to girls outside the Cow Barn then the boys will come too.

UGA Supporter and Donor

December 16th, 2012
11:55 am

LagDawg above is a good example of what I described above. Know-nothing. Georgia can win without all the top talent in Georgia. The problem is Fox cannot find a mix of good talent anywhere and spends too much time recruiting the best players who he has zero chance of landing. He has minimal connections for regional talent and again, has no budget to recruit outside the immediate area combined with an obviously mediocre and underfunded base of assistants. There is no commitment to win in Butts-Mehre.


December 16th, 2012
12:02 pm

And to you yellow maggot yaks on the UGA blog your team stinks also. You barely beat us on your court and it took 3 pointers you normally miss to do it.

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 16th, 2012
12:05 pm

UGA Supporter and Donor…………you are RIGHT and Wrong.
Tech has lived in the AAU back pocket and it HURTS too when those kids think they just need a year or MAYBE 2 before they go NBA keeps the coach kissing AAU butt and chasing recruits to replace the WHOLE Starting team.
Nedd some of the AAU kids but need STUDENT athletes more. Need kids that want to WORK on the court as well as in the CLASSROOM.
I personally want a good team but IF being a good team and graduating QUALITY Young Men are in opposition then I want STUDENT athletes first. I know that is against UGa’s philosophy when it comes to football but in Basketball it should be easier.

UGA man class of 71& 73

December 16th, 2012
12:46 pm

mark’s OP has been on display for three full years, plus this season with this historically lousy squad. I was a senior when UGA was this lousy. Possibly,we then had 500 fans in Stegman.

Greg Mc needs to view the team from here on out and if we crash into shattered hopes and dreams of respectability, make a decision. It is what it is.

UGA needs to bring in a FORCE in ball, pay him and allow the guy to build a program and recruit the talent needed to win big.

a pak of chaw and 3 orders of hashbrowns

December 16th, 2012
1:15 pm

and the answer is….

what the dwags are offering its fans to buy tickets to its elite mbb program.

i forgot…. they run this state. toooooo funny.