Georgia basketball shocks No. 22-ranked Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum, 76-64

Georgia forward Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe (12) during the Bulldogs’ game against Auburn in Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

ATHENS – Georgia basketball sent a shockwave through the SEC as it knocked off a heated rival and one of the conference’s premier programs in Auburn.

The Bulldogs (11-3, 1-0 SEC) pulled away to upset the No. 22-ranked Tigers (11-3, 1-1 SEC) 76-64 in a physical matchup that featured 36 total fouls.

Roberts finished with a team’s season-high 26 points, 2 assists and 3 steals, while Oquendo added 17 points, an assist and 4 rebounds.

The growing chemistry between the two has more history than what meets the eye, as Roberts and Oquendo were actually junior college teammates at Florida Southwestern State.

“I love playing with Kario,” Roberts said. “We have a great feel for each other. He’s a bucket-getter, for sure.”

“That’s a high-level point guard game in this league against a high-level defense and hopefully, he’s got a few more of those in him,” White said of Roberts. “Confidence, swagger, he led us. He had command.”

The Bulldog bench, which has contributed strongly all season, delivered in the win. Monster blocks, dunks, and rebounds from Frank Ansalem combined with clutch shooting from Jabri Abdur Rahim and Justin Hill helped Georgia keep momentum at home.

“We got great contributions from the bench. All five guys that came in off the bench I thought played incredibly hard,” White said. “I thought they made winning plays throughout.”

The Bulldogs sandwiched Auburn’s 11-0 run with two 10-0 runs of their own. Abdur Rahim scored 6 points in UGA’s first run, helping his team claim a 21-10 lead at the 10:08 mark.

Auburn shot 0 for 6 from the floor with several turnovers during the run.

The Tigers pounced back from there, tying the game at 21 as Georgia’s offense fell silent for four minutes.

UGA countered quickly with its second run. Three Oquendo free throws put the Bulldogs back ahead, 33-24 at the 1:55 mark.

Roberts and Oquendo scored 16 of UGA’s last 18 points in the half.

White will see a slew of familiar faces when Georgia visits his former team, Florida, at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Stephen O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fl. The Gators (7-7, 0-2 SEC) fell to Auburn in their conference opener, 61-58.

Boxscore, 1-4-23
StatBroadcast, Dawgnation

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