ATHENS – Georgia basketball notched its fifth win of the season by a 62-47 count against East Tennessee State, but that wasn’t the only cause for celebration on Sunday.
Sixth-year veteran Jailyn Ingram returned to action for the Bulldogs (5-2) for the first time since tearing his ACL on Dec. 7, 2021, inducing an eruption of applause from the Georgia faithful at Stegeman Coliseum.
“I think when he came in the game, that’s what really brought our team’s energy‚” Kario Oquendo, Ingram’s roommate, said. “That’s what started our run in the second half.”
The Bulldog defense was extremely staunch in the second half, allowing just 21 points, including forcing a seven-minute scoring drought.
“I don’t know if we’re great defensively in any one area, but our guys have done a great job of adjusting to when we’re collapsing and when we’re defending the three, and what’s most important,” White said.
UGA won the turnover battle for the third time this season, 17-14. It also outrebounded East Tennessee State 38-28.
Georgia had a three-headed monster in its backcourt, as Oquendo, Justin Hill, and Terry Roberts all had electric performances. Oquendo led the team with 16 points and 2 rebounds, shooting 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Roberts posted 12 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals while Hill added 14 points, 4 assists and 5 rebounds off the bench.
It has been an electric week for Hill, who scored 12 and 17 in Georgia’s two tournament games last week. The Longwood transfer is averaging 9.8 points, 2.2 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game this season.
In fact, the Georgia bench as a whole made itself known. The reserve Bulldogs, which only figures to be boosted by Ingram’s presence, posted 27 bench points, compared to the Buccaneers’ two.
“The parity with now 12 [players] ... gives you opportunities,” White said. “We’re probably a little bit harder to scout and on any given night, who knows who’s going to start?”
It was the first of three home games for Georgia this week. The Bulldogs are back in action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against Hampton before hosting Florida A&M at 7 p.m. on Friday.
The heavy week will test the Bulldogs, who have not played more than two games in a week so far this season.
ETSU/Georgia basketball Box Score