Georgia basketball took a pounding in Hawaii on Monday, losing 80-61 to Dayton in the first round of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center.
The Flyers (4-0) took off with a 14-2 lead, and the Bulldogs (4-1) couldn’t get back to within single digits after that, trailing by as many as 24 points.
Dayton star Obi Toppin scored a game-high 25 points, dominating from the onset, scoring 12 of the Flyers’ first 14 points.
“That’s what a pro looks like, and we didn’t answer from the beginning,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said on the Bulldogs’ radio broadcast. “They made us look like really young people today.
“They were physically and mentally tougher than us today.”
Tye Fagan scored a career-high 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting, the only Georgia player to hit double figures.
Crean said in the days leading up to the game his young team had never dealt with the sense of urgency they would need against the powers awaiting them at the prestigious tournament.
Georgia should have a better idea when it plays at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday against the loser of Monday afternoon’s Michigan State-Virginia Tech game.
On Monday, Dayton feasted on 24 Bulldogs’ turnovers and hit 16 of 19 free throws.
Georgia, surprisingly, out-rebounded the Flyers 29-28, but they forced just 15 turnovers and were 9 of 17 from the free-throw line..
The Flyers built an 18-point lead at halftime, with Bulldogs’ stars Anthony Edwards and Rayshaun Hammonds struggling from the onset.
Edwards scored 6 points on 2-of-10 shooting and committed 3 turnovers.
Hammonds, who played just 14 minutes on account of foul trouble, had 5 points and 4 rebounds before fouling out.
A Bulldogs’ second-half run was short lived.
Fagan hit a 3-point shot and Donnell Gresham followed with a layup to cut the Dayton lead to 13 points with 12:40 left to play.
But the savvy Flyers, a projected NCAA tournament team, answered with a 9-1 run to pump the lead up to 24 points.