ATHENS —Georgia basketball protected their home court on Monday night, turning back upset-minded Texas Southern at Stegeman Coliseum.
First-year Bulldogs coach Tom Crean kept Georgia perfect at home (4-0) with the 92-75 victory before the crowd of 6,801.
Tyree Crump led the Bulldogs (5-3) with a career-high 25 points over a Tigers’ team (3-6) that beat No. 16-ranked Oregon last Monday by an 89-84 count in Eugene.
Crump, a junior guard who shares the hometown of Bainbridge (Ga.) with Kirby Smart, was 5-of-7 shooting beyond the 3-point arc, leading a Bulldogs’ season-best 11-off-22 (.500) 3-point barrage.
Crump went on a 12-0 run midway through the second half as Georgia led by as many as 25 points.
Bulldogs’ senior center Derek Ogbeide had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and the 8th of his career. Sophomore Nicolas Claxton had 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots before fouling out with 2:47 remaining.
Rayshaun Hammonds, UGA’s leading scorer (14.4 points per game) had 14 points and seven rebounds.
It was Georgia’s first game since an 84-51 win over Kennesaw State last Tuesday, and that was very much by design.
“Certainly, we weren’t going to schedule a game last (SEC football championship) weekend and it turned out to be a very smart move,” Crean said. “We left it open and we’ll do it again next year, we’ll leave that open as far as home games.
“I don’t want to be coaching on a day that (Georgia football) is playing. I want to be able to watch it.“
Crean said it’s healthy for his players to watch the Bulldogs’ football team and build relationships with the players, as well.
“I don’t think you can help but to get better by observing what they’re doing,” Crean said, “be around what they’re doing and being friends with those guys.”
Texas Southern and Arizona State — the Bulldogs’ next opponent at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 — were two teams Crean added to the schedule when he took the Georgia job.
“Arizona State, their ranking will probably grow, they just continue to improve,” Crean said. “They’re so much deeper than they were a year ago, (and) they’re very active, they can really shoot the ball.
“They’re playing without Remy Martin, he’s playing but he’s not as effective yet because of his injuries, but that will be another one that will be a tremendous atmosphere, test, challenge, on that Saturday.”
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