Everything was going well for Georgia. It led for a majority of the second half and seemed to be in control in a key game Saturday against Kansas State. Then the offense fell apart.
Leading 49-44 with 6:11 left, the Bulldogs did not score again until a Derek Ogbeide putback with 33.4 seconds to go. By that point, Kansas State had turned its 5-point deficit into a 54-49 lead. The Bulldogs were unable to overcome that deficit and fell 56-51. Ogbeide’s putback was Georgia’s only basket in the final 7 minutes.
It was Georgia’s third loss in a row, dropping the Bulldogs to 12-8, while Kansas State improved to 16-5. Both teams are on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, so this will go down as another tough defeat for Mark Fox and Co.
With Kansas State’s win, the Big 12 took a 2-1 lead in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
3 who mattered
- Yante Maten: Started the second half hot, but Kansas State continually double-teamed him down the stretch as the Georgia offense fell apart. He finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds. During the final 7 minutes, Maten attempted only 2 shots, missing both.
- Juwan Parker: One of three Bulldogs in double figures, he finished with 11 points.
- Dean Wade: Outplayed Maten and made a number of key plays down the stretch for the Wildcats. He finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Wade’s shot-making late, along with Maten’s lack of shots, decided the game.
Wade’s jumper with 1:46 to go gave Kansas State a 52-49 lead. He added another on the next possession to give Kansas State its biggest lead of the second half to that point and effectively ended Georgia’s chance at a road win.
More poor offense: Georgia once again struggled on offense, especially from 3-point range. Georgia knocked down just 2 of its 18 3-point attempts. Kansas State wasn’t much better (3 of 14) but this is an area Georgia will need to improve if it is to make the NCAA Tournament. Georgia also had 11 turnovers to just 6 for Kansas State.
Another close game: The Bulldogs and Wildcats played another close game, as they did when the teams met for a home-and-home a few years ago. Both of those were decided by fewer than 5 points. This was the third time in the past four games that Georgia played a game decided by 5 or fewer points.
What’s next for Georgia basketball
The Bulldogs return home for a game against the Florida Gators on Tuesday. Florida knocked off Baylor as part of the Big 12/SEC challenge. The Gators and Bulldogs tip off at 7 p.m. ET. A win for Georgia would provide a huge boost for its NCAA Tournament hopes.