KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Georgia did not leave the Sprint Center Tuesday night with the Hall of Fame Classic championship trophy. But the Bulldogs did depart with a good amount of respect from No. 5-ranked Kansas and with their RPI intact. They were within eight points in the final four minutes before falling 65-54.
Georgia actually had the Jaykawks momentarily stunned in the early going as it shot out to an 8-2 lead and was up five points five minutes into the game. But early foul trouble for Derek Ogbeide, and the Jayhawks tremendous size and depth, eventually took its toll. The Bulldogs trailed by 10 at halftime and were behind double-digits pretty much the rest of the way.
Georgia got within eight with 3:59 to play, but Mike Edwards failed to answer a Kansas basket after the media timeout when he missed a point-blank shot. Yante Maten got it back to nine with a free throw before Kansas guard Svi Mykhailiuk’s 3 at the 2:17 mark put the game out of reach.
The loss drops Georgia to 3-2 overall while the Jayhawks improve to 4-1. It was the fourth time Georgia and Kansas have played in basketball. The Jayhawks have won all four meetings, the last three neutral site games.
Player(s) of the game:
Georgia’s Yante Maten, who was named to the all-tournament team, was an unstoppable force for the Bulldogs. In the first half, he poured in 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Even picking up his second foul late in the first half didn’t send him to the bench. After a slow start in the second half, the 6-8 junior forward got rolling again. He finished with 30 points, his most this season and the second-most of his career (33).
Georgia was taking to the mighty Jayhawks early on. The Bulldogs shot out to an 8-2 lead and were still ahead 12-9 heading into the 13-minute mark. But that’s when they started to lose a handle on the ball. Three consecutive turnovers led to six unanswered points for KU. Maten would keep the Bulldogs close for a while as the teams exchanged leads over the next six minutes. But the Jayhawks ended the half on a 13-5 run to take a 35-25 lead into the locker room.
Lineup notes: Same 5 for Dogs
Georgia went with the same starting lineup, with J.J. Frazier, Turtle Jackson, Juwan Parker, Yante Maten and Derek Ogbeide taking the court first. But Ogbeide got into early foul trouble, drawing his second foul at the 13:31 mark of the first half and leaving the game until halftime having played on five minutes.
Statistically speaking: Dogs can’t buy 3s
Georgia’s biggest undoing in the game was its inability to knock down 3-point shots. The Bulldogs had some good looks, too. But they were 0-8 at the half, with usual sharp-shooter Frazier missing all three of his attempts behind the line. Maten finally hit one in the second half, which left the Bulldogs at 1-for-14 with 10 minutes still to play in the game.
Consolation game: UAB bests GW
George Washington, who Georgia beat 81-73 to advance to the finals, fell to UAB 81-74 in the consolation game played before UGA-KU. Chris Cokley and William Lee led the Blazers (3-2) with 19 points each. Tyler Cavanaugh led the Colonials (3-2) with 19 and 13 rebounds.
Off the court: Stallions, Conley are back
For the second straight night, the marching band from Kansas City’s Schlagle High School represented the Bulldogs as a fill-in pep band. Of the four teams here this week, only Kansas brought it’s own pep band. … Former UGA and current Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley was in attendance for the second straight night.
What’s next: Gardner-Webb
The Bulldogs are likely going to encounter a stark contrasts in environment when they return to Athens to play host to Gardner-Webb Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum (7 p.m., SEC Network). The UGA students have adjourned for the Thanksgiving holiday and there is unlikely to be many out-of-town guests with the Bulldogs’ football team playing Georgia Tech on Saturday at noon between the hedges. The Runnin’ Bulldogs (2-3), as they call themselves, are coming off a 103-53 win over Toccoa Falls College (4-3). The Big South Conference school from Boiling Springs, N.C., has wins over Kentucky, Clemson and Purdue in its history. Georgia has played them three times, winning all three but two by single digits.
Georgia: Yante Maten 30; J.J. Frazier 2, Turtle Jackson 7; Juwan Parker 5
Kansas: Frank Mason III 19.