KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Georgia basketball measured itself against one of the best teams in the nation on Wednesday night, and the Bulldogs came up short — literally and figuratively.
Tennessee’s size and power were simply too much for the roster first-year coach Mike White quickly assembled after being hired following this past offseason.
The No. 4-ranked Vols hung a 70-41 loss on Georgia, sending the Bulldogs into their first three-game losing streak of the season.
“We just got beat, as I told our guys, by a team that’s just better than us right now,” UGA coach Mike White said. “A team that’s got a chance to win the whole thing.”
Tennessee (17-3, 7-1 SEC) went on a 17-3 run midway through the second half, sending fans to the exits with 6:50 left as it forged ahead 62-33.
Georgia (13-7, 3-4) had hit just 1 of its last 11 shots at that point in the game, leaving coach Mike White perplexed, arms folded on the side court.
This was not the same Bulldogs team he watched race out to a 3-1 start in SEC play.
Terry Roberts led Georgia with 11 points on 5-of-15 shooting while Kario Oquendo was held in check, scoring 4 points on 1-of-6 shooting.
It was a night that saw the Bulldogs struggle from the floor -- making just 16 of 55 shots (29.1 percent) -- and the free-throw line 5-of-12 (41.7 percent).
“I do think we had eight or 10 pretty good looks that just didn’t go,” White said. “You make three or four of those, maybe the game’s a little more interesting and then our inability at the foul line is mind boggling.
“We just looked uncertain, but that had a lot to do with our opponent.”
The Vols were taller and thicker across the front line, featuring 7-foot-1, 265-pound senior Uros Plavsic and explosive 6-6, 224-pound wing Josiah-Jordan James —matchups the Bulldogs had no answers for.
Tennessee outscored Georgia 36-18 in the paint and scored 25 of its points off 20 Bulldogs’ turnovers.
Georgia had gotten off to a quick start in the first half, opening the scoring on a Frank Anselem dunk and taking a 6-4 lead into the first TV timeout on an Oquendo drive to the hoop.
Tennessee, however, responded with 9-0 run and took a 35-22 lead into halftime.
“We have a lot to learn from this one,” White said. “They are as solid as they get, and they force you into mistakes.”
The Bulldogs return home to play host to South Carolina at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum, where Georgia has won 10 of its last 11 games.
The Gamecocks fell to 8-12 and 1-6 in the SEC after an 81-60 loss at Florida on Wednesday night.
Georgia basketball boxscore at Tennessee
Tennessee stats vs. Georgia
Tennessee boxscore vs. Georgia