Georgia basketball falls short 87-73 in high-scoring “Sunshine Slam” championship

Georgia center Braelan Bridges (23) during a match against Bucknell at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. (Photo by Kayla Renie)
Kayla Renie

ATHENS – Georgia’s offense had one of its most explosive halves yet, but could not keep up with UAB down the stretch in the Beach Bracket championship game of the “Sunshine Slam” tournament.

UGA coach Mike White knew it would take a strong, full 40-minute performance to beat a UAB team that finished second in the Conference USA a year ago. White’s squad actually led 42-41 at halftime after electric first half performances from Justin Hill and Braelen Bridges.

UGA shot 20-of-38 from the field in the first 20 minutes, but a 10-2 Blazer run to open the second half put them behind for the rest of the contest.

“I think in the second half, it was more about UAB’s offensive output,” White said. “We just didn’t respond really well, unfortunately.”

The Bulldogs (4-2) kept fighting as they trailed, applying consistent pressure to the Blazers (4-1) in a 87-73 loss on Tuesday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

UGA was also set back by 15 turnovers, which led to 23 Blazer points.

In the second half of its second game in as many days, Georgia just started to sputter. The Bulldogs shot 2-of-13 from beyond the arc and were outrebounded 22-17.

“I thought we showed a lot of physical toughness, but the mental piece of the toughness has got to improve,” White said. “Our responses to adversity has got to improve.”

UGA advanced to the championship game after a statement win over Saint Joseph’s on Monday.

Hill posted an eye-popping performance, scoring a season-high 17 points with 2 assists and 4 rebounds.

The Bulldogs are back in action at 1 p.m. on Sunday, when they will play host to East Tennessee. Georgia will use its break to rest, as players like Kario Oquendo, Terry Roberts, and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe are dealing with lingering injuries.

UAB/Georgia Box Score
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