Posted: 11:47 pm Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

UGA’s winning streak gets smashed on the glass 

By Mark Bradley

Georgia Tennessee Basketball

Jarnell Stokes rises to the occasion. (Adam Lau/Knoxville News-Sentinel)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.

All that good stuff that propelled the Georgia Bulldogs to third place in the 14-team SEC? None of it was on display here Tuesday night. They didn’t rebound. They didn’t drive the lane and get fouled. Neither did they win.

“They were better at it tonight,” guard Kenny Gaines said, speaking of Tennessee, a 67-47 winner. “We’re better when we get to the free-throw line and when we rebound.”

Those two elements — the Bulldogs entered the game second in SEC play in rebounding and first in free throws attempted — had enabled a team that was only 6-6 over its pre-conference schedule to win eight of its first 12 in league play. Matched against SEC opposition, Georgia had managed to ugly up enough games to win two-thirds of them. On this night, however, talent trumped grit.

The Vols, who were first in SEC competition in rebounding margin, outrebounded the Bulldogs 37-30 and outscored them 34-18 in the lane. Jarnell Stokes had 20 points and 10 rebounds — “A monster game,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said — and overwhelmed every defender thrown at him. (Sometimes even two defenders. Fox was not pleased that Stokes dribbled through a first-half double-team for a layup. That’s not supposed to happen.)

As for free throws: Georgia took only two in the first half and didn’t try its third and fourth until 13:47 remained and the Bulldogs trailed by 10 points. It would try 11 foul shots all told, its lowest total of the season.

“That isn’t a team that’s going to stand there and shoot 3-pointers,” Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said. “They get into the lane and force action.”

Usually, yes. But not this time. Fox said his team looked “sluggish” from the start, and he cited the schedule — this was Georgia’s third game in eight days — and a touch of flu among Bulldogs. He also sought not to make that sound like an excuse.

“That’s not how we’ve been playing,” Fox said. “They wore us out on the backboard.”

Then this: “You’ve got to show up when the bright lights are on. I’m not comfortable with our effort tonight. But we’ve been playing super hard.”

This was one of those games that was a standings upset — Tennessee came into the game in a four-way tie for fifth — but not a real one. The Vols were picked to finish third in the SEC in a preseason media poll, trailing only Kentucky and Florida. Georgia was picked 11th, ahead of only South Carolina, Mississippi State and Auburn. To its credit, Georgia has gotten more from its conference season (at least to date) than has Tennessee. But the Vols still have the better team.

The Bulldogs entered having won four in a row, with rousing home victories over LSU and Ole Miss included. What transpired Tuesday was a reality check: On its best days, Georgia can be a pretty good little team; on its lesser ones, it can still resemble the unassuming crew that couldn’t break .500 in non-conference play.

14 comments
ronaldtallon
ronaldtallon

Tech and UGA are going noplace in Basketball.   On the other hand, Ga. State is excellent.  Good luck to them.

SinceVince
SinceVince

Fox claims his team is tired.  I think every team is tired at this point in the season but once again the dawgs suffered a beat down away from the Steg.    Meanwhile its gonna take  Scott Stricklin some time to get the baseball program back to some respectability. Just shows that Perno let the program slip back into the stone ages .

jeeperscrow
jeeperscrow

Fox will never be great with the Dawgs until he figures out how to recruit. A good coach of talent, but in the SEC you have to be able to recruit.

DirtyDawg
DirtyDawg

They needed to 'hack the crap' out of the Stokes guy from the get go...mug him a little - the guy would have responded with slugging somebody and been tossed. And send Mann into the middle on every possession - he might get killed, but sooner or later he'll get some calls, even from this crew that clearly had a hard-on against UGA all night, despite the 'love interest' the TV color guy had for the lead official. We'll get em back down here.

JaySly
JaySly

the dogs need to clean house and get new coaches!  i'm tired of this.  they need to find some rich fatcats to put up the millions to build a real arena, state of the art and get rid of this rodeo barn they play in -- that place is a dump.  top recruits don't want to play in that thing.

SinceVince
SinceVince

buh bye Mark Fox.   Diamond Dawgs  not looking so good either.

LowcountryBulldawg
LowcountryBulldawg

We too where at the game and UGA hung till about 8 min mark. They are making strides though. Offense just gets stagnant w/ Gaines and Morris disappearing to often. Love to know what CMF said to BM in tge 2nd half, 17:50 mark when he pulled him. Thats a quick hook for him, but in the end we enjoyed the game and Vowel fans treated us great.

87GaDawg
87GaDawg

Actually a close game until midway through the second half.  Then Tennessee rained in a few three pointers and that was it.  Tennessee clearly had the better team though.  Still, UGA looking better.  Like "OldGuy" said, move on and get the next one.

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

Shake it off.  Lets win the next one.

POAD2013
POAD2013

UGa and Tech lost lost in BBall....Oh well.

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  1. […] if you missed it from Tuesday, Georgia laid an egg at Tennessee, losing 67-48. Jarnell Stokes had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the […]