Sahvir Wheeler did it once again. For the third time in the three games this season, Wheeler had a double-double, as he tallied 21 points and 10 assists for the Georgia Bulldogs.
And thanks in part to Wheeler’s excellence, a balanced scoring attack and a handsy defense that forced 22 turnovers, the Bulldogs won their third straight game to start the season, beating the Jacksonville Dolphins 98-65.
“Really, really proud of the way we competed in the first half and the way we took charge in the second half,” Tom Crean said following the win.
Wheeler once again led the way for Georgia, but the Bulldogs got significant contributions from Toumani Camara and Justin Kier. Camara had 19 points and a team-high seven rebounds, while Kier added 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Wheeler is the only SEC player to have 10 assists in a single game this season. He also became the first Georgia player to have double-digit assists in three consecutive games.
Georgia finished with six players in double-figures, as Chrisitan Brown had 14 points, P.J. Horne had 12 and Tye Fagan finished with 10.
“I’m the point guard and I’m the one who’s running it, but those are the guys who finish the plays and they deserve just as much credit as I do,” Wheeler said.
The 98 points were a season-best for the Bulldogs.
Georgia got out to a fast start and ultimately held a 46-36 lead at the half. Wheeler did more of his scoring in the first half, as he led the Bulldogs with 13 points in the opening 20 minutes. He did more distrusting in the second half, where he picked up seven of his 10 assists.
An 11-0 run starting at the 9:10 mark in the second half helped push Georgia’s lead from 15 to 26 to put the game out of reach for the Bulldogs. The run was punctuated by an alley-oop from Wheeler to Brown.
The save … and the finish! 🔨 pic.twitter.com/guJPbzy16Q
— ESPN (@espn) December 5, 2020
While Georgia did turn the ball over 16 times against Jacksonville, its defense and on-ball pressure allowed the Bulldogs to get out in transition. Georgia held a 31-7 edge in fast-break points and racked up 15 steals to go along with 67 deflections per Crean.
“That’s how we want to play. We want to play fast,” Kier said. “We want to cut our turnovers down but we want to make everyone else turn the ball over. We want to get out and have some excitement and have fun. That offense contributes to our defense.”
In addition to forcing turnovers, Georgia also limited what Jacksonville could do from 3-point range, as the Dolphins hit just 4 of their 23 3-point attempts. Diante Wood led Jacksonville in scoring with 18 points.
Georgia next returns to action on Tuesday when it takes on the Montana Grizzlies at home. The game is set for a 7 p.m. ET tip, and can be seen on the SEC Network.
Georgia basketball-Jacksonville box score, stats
Tom Crean, Sahvir Wheeler, Justin Kier talk Georgia basketball win over Jacksonville
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