Georgia basketball coasted into South Carolina on fumes, and it looked like it throughout much of Saturday’s game in Columbia.
The Gamecocks beat the Bulldogs 66-46 to complete a season sweep of Georgia and capture the SEC’s No. 4 seed and the valuable double bye at the SEC Tournament that comes with it.
The Bulldogs continued to struggle to score without the services of their second-leading scorer and rebounder, Rayshaun Hammonds, going the final 10 minutes, 28 seconds of the game without a field goal.
“We missed a lot of shots that we can make, and that we have made,” UGA coach Tom Crean said. “You hold a team to 33 percent shooting on their home court, you feel pretty good about your chances
“(But) there’s fatigue …. we don’t have much room to take guys out right now.”
South Carolina (16-15, 11-7 SEC) cruised to a 44-21 lead at the half.
The Bulldogs (11-20, 2-16) didn’t get closer than 10 points for the remainder of the game at Colonial Life Arena.
Nicolas Claxton led UGA with 13 points and 10 rebounds, his eighth double-double of the season. Derek Ogbeide had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his ninth career double-double.
Chris Silva had a game-high 24 points along with 10 rebounds for the Gamecocks.
Georgia showed some fight before bowing out, going on an 11-1 run at one point in the second half, and closing to 50-40 with 7:53 left on an E’Torrion Wilridge free throw.
South Carolina built its 23-point lead at the half by taking advantage of nine Georgia turnovers while committing just one itself.
The Gamecocks went on a 14-0 run midway through the first half, taking control early with a 30-14 lead.
The Bulldogs went more than 8 1/2 minutes without a field goal, missing seven straight before freshman Tye Fagan hit a bucket to make it 32-18 at the 5:42 mark.
Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m (eastern) on Wednesday night in the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
The No. 13-seed Bulldogs face No. 12-seed Missouri (14-16, 5-13). The Tigers beat Georgia 64-39 last Wednesday in Athens.
Georgia basketball boxscore