Shorthanded Georgia basketball wins third straight, beats Florida A&M 68-46

Georgia guard Mardrez McBride (13) during Georgia’s game against FAMU at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

ATHENS – A shorthanded Georgia basketball team took care of business yet again, beating Florida A&M without four key players.

The Bulldogs (7-2), who missed Kario Oquendo (lower body contusion) and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe (ankle) for the second straight game, were also without Terry Roberts and Frank Ansalem due to illness.

That meant Georgia coach Mike White was without his top two scorers, his assists leader, and two of his top four rebounders.

“We’re already searching offensively, and now you search at another level,” White said. “We told guys early shootaround, ‘Hey, we all want more opportunity. Here it comes, so what are you going to do with it?’

“Last few hours leading into the game, we were in scramble mode a little bit, but I liked how our guys responded.”

White made the necessary adjustments, as his squad shook the Rattlers 68-46. The Bulldogs return to action when they visit Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta.

One such adjustment was starting Mardrez McBride, who was excellent in the backcourt. He logged season-highs in points (15) and rebounds (9) with 4 steals and 2 assists.

The North Texas transfer shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range.

With just eight players in rotation, the Bulldogs were phenomenal avoiding foul trouble. The team finished with 10 personal fouls, with the highest individual total being 3.

“Our foul discipline might have been the biggest key to the game,” White said.

The 6-foot-11 Braelen Bridges offered a severe size advantage in the paint, and Georgia took it. Even with no Ansalem or Moncrieffe to offer help inside, Bridges delivered 10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks.

The Atlanta product stood at least two inches taller than every Rattler defender he faced.

UGA finished the week 3-0, with wins over East Tennessee State and Hampton on Monday and Wednesday, respectively. It marked the program’s first three-game stretch allowing less than 55 points since 2010, going back 259 games.

“[We were] pretty consistent, especially defensively and on the glass,” White said, evaluating his team’s undefeated week. “I’m pretty pleased ... with the way we’re blocking out, that we’re gaining rebounding at times, that we’re rebounding down with our guards ... we’re doing some good things.”

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