Bulldogs overcome 25 turnovers to beat George Washington 52-41

ATHENS — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Nemanja Djurisic each scored 17 points and Georgia overcame 25 turnovers as the Bulldogs defeated George Washington 52-41 Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

The win was the fourth in a row for the Bulldogs (6-7), who open SEC play on Wednesday at No. 13 Florida (9-2).

“That’s a good win,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We hold them to 20 percent (shooting). I don’t think they made a 3. We win the rebounding battle (39 to 31). We shoot 48 percent from the field. There’s some good-looking things on that stat sheet. Then you look down and you see the turnover column, in which we have 25.

“I was telling my wife, I think our team needs school to start … as poorly as we were thinking out there tonight.”

The Colonials (6-7) did fail to make a 3-point basket. In fact, they were 0-for-12 from behind the arc. The last time Georgia held on opponent without a 3-pointer was 261 games ago when it hosted Nevada in 2004. The coach of the Wolfpack that year was Fox.

“I remember that game vividly,” Fox said. “We were the second-worst 3-point shooting team in America that year.”

GW is not so hot either. The Colonials came in ranked 343 out of 345 teams in 3-point field goals.

But the game was definitely won on the defensive end of the floor. Georgia held its visitors to 24.6 percent shooting, including 16.7 in the second half. The Bulldogs also recorded 7 blocks and 8 steals.

And they were moderately efficient on the offensive end, at least when they weren’t losing possession of the basketball. Freshman point guard Charles Mann had five turnovers and Sherrard Brantley and Donte Williams added four each as Georgia had a season high in miscues. Georgia also hurt its own cause by going 10-of-17 at the foul line.

But all that was somewhat nullified by more offensive balance. Djursic, who came in averaging just 7.8 points a game, had his second-consecutive double-figure night. He also scored 21 against Florida A&M in the last outing.

“I got off to a rough start this season,” said the 6-foot-8 sophomore forward. “I missed so many easy layups and that kind of messed with my confidence a little bit. But I’m glad my teammates were there and my coaches were there for me. They were all supportive of me and had patience in me and I came back a little bit these last two games.”

Djurisic’s offensive presence in the paint took some of the pressure off Caldwell-Pope, who has now tied for the scoring lead or held it outright in 12 of the Bulldogs’ 13 games this season.

“It’s very important,” Caldwell-Pope said of getting some offensive assistance. “The scouting report is going to have to change on us. Our team is scoring the ball better and people are scoring besides me and it’s important that we keep doing that.”

It was a back-and-forth game most of the way. The Colonials, were led by Kevin Larsen with 14 points, tied the game at 37-all on Bryan Bynes fast-break lay-up (off a Georgia turnover, of course). But that spurred the Bulldogs on a 9-0 run in which Djurisic scored seven points on three lay-ins and a free throw.

The Bulldogs closed out the game at the foul line with Caldwell-Pope making four free throws and Djurisic two in the final minute.

Vincent Williams returned to the starting lineup at point guard ahead of the freshman Charles Mann and senior John Florveus got a rare start at center. Florveus had a career-high 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs also were also playing without forward Marcus Thornton. The beleaguered junior underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and is out for the rest of the season. It was Thornton’s fourth knee surgery since coming to UGA from Westlake High as the reigning Mr. Georgia Basketball.

“We had to rely on our defense tonight and out defense has been pretty good,” Fox said. “We have some trust in our defense. I was surprised with our turnovers . . . We did some things tonight that make you scratch your head. But any win is a good win.”

21 comments Add your comment

Lonnie

January 4th, 2013
10:37 pm

Good game though. Now that freshmen are playing we are winning!!!!!

SteveW

January 4th, 2013
10:46 pm

Fox may have saved his job the last couple of weeks. Let him stay. It’s obvious he’s building a program. Loaded with youngsters.

And maybe Thornton can redshirt, idk

Coach T

January 4th, 2013
11:06 pm

Coach Fox is going to be the winningest coach in UGA history if he (and UGA) stays the course.

two riders were approaching

January 4th, 2013
11:56 pm

good coach, can’t recruit. Time to move on.

dbc

January 5th, 2013
12:14 am

Halfway through the season, 25 turnovers. And SEC play hasn’t started yet. UGA either needs to get serious about Bball or drop it altogether. A school with all the resources of UGA should at least be able to field a team that isn’t dreadful.

Big time?? Not

January 5th, 2013
7:09 am

It was dreadful.

Dawgfan

January 5th, 2013
8:44 am

Yes they need to stop the crazy number of turnovers. No matter how they play they are still the only Bball team I watch. Go Dawgs!

savannadawg

January 5th, 2013
8:53 am

I’ve got a great idea. Lets just put our largest Football players on the floor. They probably couldn’t do worse. As a matter of fact, lets just recruit Basketball and Baseball players that just happen to be real good Football players too. Then start a mens soccer team so we’ll always have good kickers.now thats what I call “thinkin outa da box”.

SteveW

January 5th, 2013
9:55 am

Iona, Mercer, and USC are not dreadful. They’ve all beaten some pretty good teams.

Mercer left here and really beat a supposedly good ‘Bama squad.

USC just beat a good Dayton team.

Iona has been beating some quality teams

Let Fox build the program

Winder Dawg

January 5th, 2013
10:02 am

Does anyone know if UGA has ever entertained the thought of changing the seating arrangements in the arena? Students should be sitting courtside at least on one side 10 rows deep. Instead, the seating is arranged like a NBA arena. If UGA really wants the student body to get excited about B-ball and if we want 4 – 5 star recruits, UGA has to design an atmosphere that emphasizes intimidation to the visitors and support to the Home team….Good luck in the SEC and
Go dawgs!

JUNKYARD DAWG

January 5th, 2013
10:54 am

Hopefully we can win one SEC game. This team is horrible and that’s being nice.

Rabid Dawg'84

January 5th, 2013
12:19 pm

Support Coach Fox! I was there last night and enjoyed the game. The players made alot of stupid decisions in committing turnovers, with which the coach agreed. He also has to get them to make free throws, too. I believe he can get it done here. We need some elites like KCP and the continued development of good players that stay and contribute 4 years. A noisy crowd can make a huge difference. If you want a winning team at UGA, then go support them NOW! Go Dawgs!

Felton Stomp

January 5th, 2013
12:19 pm

Year 4 and Fox hasn’t built anything. The only success he has had came with Felton’s recruits.

Felton Stomp

January 5th, 2013
12:23 pm

Winder Dawg – If the team wins consistently, the fans will come. The Steg was packed and rocking for most games in 2002.

If you were to move the student section to the first ten rows courtside, it would be just as empty as the current student section behind the basket.

Joey

January 5th, 2013
12:28 pm

I’ve watched every TV game so far, and it amazes me the number of times UGA big men post-up too low on the baseline – when they make a move to the basket, they are too far underneath the backboard to get off a shot, or (ugh) they do get off something resembling a shot.

If they turn it over 25 times vs the Gators, they will get beat by at least that amount.

Vel Crow

January 5th, 2013
12:47 pm

The worst mistake Fox made was not keeping Pete Herman who was in charge of coaching UGA post players. None of these big men know how to play inside on offense. All I see is each one trying a hook shot that almost breaks the backboard.

Felton Stomp

January 5th, 2013
1:40 pm

Montenegro Express had a nice up and under move down low.

nobody

January 5th, 2013
5:52 pm

man…for a minute I was picturing that we beat Georgetown, but alas…

Lagdawg

January 5th, 2013
10:02 pm

The BB team is horrible. Fox knew that the talent was leaving and yet he did a horrible job recruting top players. He can sign anyone of any relevance. KCP is it. UGA was lucky to get him and after that, not a five star player in sight. Stars may not completly matte in foootball but, in baskeball it is the difference between winning or losing and right now UGA has seven losses and have not played anybody. Fla. will run UGA out the building Wed. McGarrity is delusional if he thinks the program is headed in the right direction. No instate players want to play for him and right now the recruiting is horrible. Fox needs to make some changes on his staff to get a better recruiter or he will be gone after this season. If you don’t agree. Look at the stats and the Ws and Ls, they don’t lie.

[...] HOOPS: After starting 2-7, the Bulldogs have won four in a row to draw within sight of .500. Atmospheric reading: This could start to go bad again. Of [...]

Benjamin

January 7th, 2013
9:07 am

Big fan of Fox. Looking forward to seeing how the next few games go.

But he has to do a better job of in-state recruiting if he wants to build a winner at UGA. Too much basketball talent in this state leaving for schools elsewhere through the years.