Georgia basketball battles Virginia, falls short in Newark, N.J. despite 14 points from Braelen Bridges.
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Georgia basketball battles Virginia, falls in opening game of Legends Classic

Tom Crean is getting the fight and effort he wants, but Georgia basketball missed out on getting the desired result on Monday night.

The Bulldogs (2-3) lost to Virginia (3-2) by a 65-55 count despite out-rebounding the Cavaliers 42-29 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Braelen Bridges, a 6-foot-11 transfer from UIC, had 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting to lead Georgia scorers. Jailyn Ingram recorded the 11th double-double of his career with 10 points while matching his career-high with 12 rebounds.

Georgia led Virginia 34-31 at halftime and was up 48-47 with 7:18 left before the shooting dried up and late turnovers became too much to overcome. UGA had 16 turnovers to Virginia’s 4.

Georgia was just 3-of-19 shooting from 3-point range, and the Cavaliers closed out the game going 8-for-8 from the free-throw line over the final 1:45.

“It was a very physical game, and I think our guys did their best to fight through it,” Crean said. “The biggest thing we have to get handled in a day is to make sure we are throwing that ball ahead in transition.”

Georgia will play at 5 p.m.on Tuesday against the loser of the late Monday night game between Northwestern and Providence.

Bulldogs’ transfer Jabri Abdur-Rahim, who was the 2019 New Jersey Player of the Year from Blair Academy before spending his freshman year at Virginia, will look to make the most of what’s left of his homecoming.

Abdur-Rahim had just 4 points on 1-of-6 shooting against the Cavaliers and is now just 6-of-25 shooting with the Bulldogs.

Virginia coach Tony Bennett offered encouraging words to UGA fans on his former player.

“I wish Jabri was still with us,” Bennett said. “Jabri can really score, and he can draw fouls and create. He’s a good young man, and I think he’ll get more comfortable and get better. He had so many shots that were in and out tonight.”

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