ATHENS — In Georgia’s 87-82 win over Winthrop, a back-and-forth game came down to the final few minutes, with Rayshaun Hammond finally coming up with the separation Georgia needed in the waning minutes for the win Tuesday.
In their previous six games, the Eagles averaged around 96 points per game, but they didn’t have that kind of attack against the Bulldogs.
Georgia (7-1) came out hot, while Winthrop was flat. Georgia senior Yante Maten opened the game with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Georgia continued to roll on the offensive end for a 17-5 lead more than halfway through the first half.
But Winthrop responded using three 3-pointers, including two from guard Anders Broman, to cut Georgia’s lead to 40-38 entering the half.
Winthrop kept its offensive attack going and took the lead for the first time in the opening minute of the second half with a dunk from Josh Ferguson.
A back-and-forth game then ensued until the three-minute mark when Rayshaun Hammonds stepped back for a 3-pointer at the top of the key, and Turtle Jackson added a key basket to help put the game away.
TWO WHO MATTERED
Maten: The Georgia senior forward picked up his fourth foul before the eight-minute mark in the second half and was forced to the bench but still ended the night as the Bulldogs’ leading scorer with 25 points, and he added 11 rebounds.
Xazier Cooks: Like Maten, Cooks battled foul trouble, but he was the Eagles’ leading scorer with 31 points.
With three minutes remaining, Hammonds stepped back at the top of the key, finally finding a little separation from Winthrop to take the lead for Georgia with his decisive 3-pointer.
Dominating the glass: Georgia controlled the glass, finishing with 39 rebounds, including 23 on the defensive end. Winthrop only had 23 total rebounds.
Still an issue: Georgia had 16 turnovers, and Winthrop scored 22 points off those turnovers.
Maten again: The last time Georgia took on Winthrop in 2015, Maten also had a big game with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
THEY SAID IT
Georgia head coach Mark Fox on the win: “I think I have been too soft on our team. I don’t think I have been hard enough on them, to be honest with you. I think we have really good kids. They give us no issues. They buy in to everything that we tell them to do. But I think I have been too soft on them because they are never in trouble. They don’t give us any resistance on how we are trying to play.”
Fox on his team’s defense: “If we dressed our coaches out [Tuesday,] I think we probably could have played more consistent defense. The numbers we gave up, they are not good enough, and that is not going to get it done, and our players know it.”
Hammonds on his key 3-pointer: “It was a practice shot. It was an every-day shot that I do in practice. Its something that we work on with [assistant coach David] Carter every day so it was just a practice shot for me.”
Maten on the win: “I didn’t play very well on defense and [Cooks] ended up cooking us [Tuesday]. Shout out to him and his team because they are a very good team but defensively I wasn’t where I needed to be [Tuesday].”
Georgia will take some time off for exams before traveling to Massachusetts on Dec. 16.