COLUMBIA, S.C. — Georgia continues to be competitive on the road. And it continues to not have anything to show for it.
For the fourth straight game, Georgia fell on the road in the SEC after playing it close, this time to No. 19 South Carolina. With the 77-75 loss, Georgia (13-10 overall, 4-6 in the SEC) saw its postseason hopes continue to unravel.
In its past four road games, Georgia has now lost by one (at Texas A&M), two (at South Carolina) and twice in overtime (at Kentucky and Florida).
On Saturday, Georgia and South Carolina had eight ties and 18 lead changes before the midway point of the second half, when the Gamecocks went on an 8-0 lead and never trailed again. Georgia did close within two with nine seconds left. But two free throws by South Carolina’s Justin McKie with 7.7 seconds essentially sealed the game.
– Players of the game: J.J. Frazier did what he could for Georgia, scoring 18 points and adding 5 assists. South Carolina’s outside shooting combo of PJ Dozier (21 points), Sindarius Thornwell (18 points) and Duane Notice (15 points) was too much.
– Stat lines of the game: While South Carolina’s 11 made 3-pointers were critical, so was Georgia’s inability to box out in the second half. The Gamecocks had 8 offensive rebounds in the second half, many leading to critical second-chance baskets that proved to be the difference.
– Turning point: The game was tied at 51 with 10:13 left when South Carolina missed a 3, but Thornwell came up with the long rebound. The Gamecocks would score on that possession and then on the next one Georgia’s Juwan Parker was called for a foul as Thornwell tried a baseline shot. Mark Fox protested, taking off his suit jacket. But to no avail, and the Gamecocks soon had a 59-51 lead, after Thornwell’s fourth 3 of the game. Georgia did get back within four with 4:30 left, but it gave up two straight offensive rebounds, and South Carolina used them to go up 9.
– What’s next: Georgia comes home but the competition doesn’t get easier. Florida (17-5 overall and ranked No. 14 in the RPI entering the weekend) visits on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.