Georgia during a game against Wofford at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)
Mackenzie Miles

Georgia basketball turnovers lead to 68-65 loss to Wofford

ATHENS – Kario Oquendo missed a shot at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime for Georgia on Sunday night. The Bulldogs (2-5) were a 68-65 upset victim to Wofford (5-2) at Stegeman Coliseum, unable to snap a three-game skid thanks to a slew of second half turnovers.

With eight seconds remaining, Oquendo drove the ball across half court to the three-point line, hesitated, and pulled a stepback shot that missed long.

“We needed to get five shooters. The inbounder was there,” said UGA coach Tom Crean. “What we wanted to do was get penetration and be able to make that kick with him in that spot, but he didn’t quite get it pushed up as fast and he got a good look. So, he’s an option to shoot that, but it was more to pull in help in that type of situation and make that kick.

“He took a shot that was open, he just didn’t get the right finish with it.”

The Bulldogs hung with the Terriers in a nail biter that included eight ties and ten lead changes. Wofford finished with eight turnovers. Georgia finished with 19.

“I guess I underestimated, and our staff underestimated how unhealthy a couple of guys were trying to recover from some things because obviously, there were times we couldn’t get over our own adversities and circumstances trying to make some plays that weren’t there,” said Crean. “We’ve got to keep finding ways to make the game simpler for them and not try to make plays that aren’t there.”

Georgia was down three players on account of the flu last week. It appears Crean’s squad hasn’t quite put the virus behind it yet.

The two squads continued to trade blows throughout the contest before Wofford mounted a small lead late in the game and never looked back.

Virginia transfer Jabri Abdur Rahim scored a career-high of 20 points and grabbed four rebounds. Rahim had averaged 4.2 points per game at UGA through the first six contests.

“This game, I tried to get myself going doing other things,” he said. “Talking on defense and trying to get myself involved in the game more, that’s the kind of stuff they’ve been emphasizing to me a little bit, so I tried to focus on that, but I got some looks early and they just happened to fall tonight.”

Jailyn Ingram and Kairo Oquendo also had strong days, scoring 13 and ten points, respectively.

Wofford compensated for poor 3-point shooting with 32 points in the paint.

“It was our inability to carry out the game plan on low post defense and especially the adjustments made in the second half,” Crean said. “For one reason or another, we struggled with guarding the post and being in the position that we needed to do.”

“It’s doing your work early and being in a position and being proactive rather than reactive and we weren’t as good at that today.”

Georgia will be back in the Stegeman Coliseum Wednesday to play host to No. 9-ranked Memphis.