ATHENS, Ga. —Coming off a tough loss to No. 5 Kansas earlier in the week, the Georgia basketball team showed little signs of a hangover as they took on the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia used a strong defensive performance to start the second half to cruise to a 77-59 victory. Yante Maten, coming off a 30-point, 13 rebound performance against Kansas, led the Bulldogs(4-2) once again in scoring and in rebounding.
Gardner Webb(2-4) kept it close in the first half, as neither team was able to build a lead bigger than six. Yante Maten had a huge first half for Georgia as he just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. The Bulldogs also got seven first half points from junior college transfer Pape Diatta.
In the second half, Georgia relied on a variety of scorer and its defense to help the close game into a blowout. The Bulldogs got season-best scoring outputs from Diatta, freshman Jordan Harris and Mike Edwards. Edwards finished with 10, making it just the second time all season a Bulldog other than Maten or JJ Frazier finished with double digits.
Georgia outscored Gardner-Webb 37-22 in the second half.
Player of the game: Yante Maten
It wasn’t quite the performance he had against Kansas, but the junior big man once again proved he was the best player on the floor. He finished with 16 points and nine rebounds, and would’ve finished with another double-double had he not sat the final 8:23 of the game.
Stat line of the game: Points off turnovers
Georgia did a great job in both forcing turnovers and capitalizing off of them. Gardner-Webb finished with 19 turnovers in the game, and Georgia turned them into 28 points. Conversely, Georgia turned the ball over 14 times but Gardner-Webb got only 12 points off them.
Turning point: The opening minutes of the second half
Gardner-Webb kept pace with Georgia for much of the first half, as it never trailed by more than six. But Maten and company began to flex their muscles in the second half. Gardner-Webb missed 10 of its first 12 shots to open the half and by the 9:26 mark, Georgia stretched a three point lead to an 18 point lead.
What’s next for Georgia basketball
The Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday when they take on the Morehouse Tigers at 7:00 p.m. Morehouse is 2-2 on the season. Morehouse did play fellow SEC-foe Ole Miss to open the season and the Rebels beat the Tigers 90-66.
Georgia also has a home game against Marquette next week. That game is scheduled for Sunday Dec. 4 and tips at 2 p.m.
What coach Mark Fox had to say:
“It’s good to win. We were really kind of concerned about the game. We got back about 4 a.m. and we just looked like a real tired team at shootaround. We played a little bit behind in the first half and fouled a lot. We corrected that in the second half and that allowed us to get more stops. We had a deep enough team that we were still able to find a way to win.
Georgia vs. Gardner-Webb box score