Georgia basketball could have turned things around at Texas A&M, if only the Bulldogs hadn’t turned the ball over so frequently.
Georgia lost to the Aggies at Reed Arena in College Station on Saturday, 74-69, in a game televised by the SEC Network.
The Bulldogs (12-13, 2-10 SEC) turned the ball over 21 times leading to 26 points for Texas A&M (12-12, 6-6), a most glaring metric.
“It’s disheartening; you have talent, but they are young and they’ve been inconsistent,” SEC Network analyst and former Tennessee star Dane Bradshaw said of UGA.
“It’s the same thing a lot of teams deal with. How do you keep that focus and attention to detail for 40 minutes?”
Junior Rayshaun Hammonds led Georgia with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds with three assists in a strong effort.
The Bulldogs, however, were without a healthy Anthony Edwards. The projected NBA lottery pick continues to be plagued by the flu bug that hit him more than a week ago, and his 28 minutes were measured.
SEC Network announcers reported Edwards is still dealing with shortness of breath at times.
Edwards, who had 29 points and 15 rebounds in the teams’ first meeting, a Bulldogs win in Athens, scored all six of his points in the first half. He was 2-of-7 shooting in the game, with all of his attempts coming from beyond the 3-point line.
It was clear Edwards wasn’t 100 percent after intermission, so Coach Tom Crean took him out for much of the second half.
Georgia had built a 38-29 halftime lead, but the Aggies charged out of the locker room after intermission with an 11-2 run that tied the game at 40-40.
The Bulldogs battled to stay out in front, but Texas A&M finally overcame them.
The Aggies took a 61-59 advantage with 3:48 left for their first lead in the game since the 10:40 mark of the first half.
The game stayed close into the final moments, but late turnovers by Hammonds and Sahvir Wheeler, combined with Texas A&M’s proficiency at the free-throw line, proved too much.
The Aggies were 21-of-29 shooting from the free-throw line, while Georgia made 12 of 14 free-throw attempts.
Hammonds’ strong effort led to the Bulldogs winning the boards, 34-28, but the turnovers were an issue.
“I know Anthony Edwards hasn’t been 100 percent,” Bradshaw said.
“But Georgia wins this game if they take care of the basketball. Twenty-one turnovers led to 26 points for an A&M team that struggles to score.”
Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against No. 11-ranked Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum.