ATHENS — Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity acknowledged he did speak with the SEC office about officiating in the men’s basketball team’s one-point loss at Ole Miss last Saturday.
McGarity said he couldn’t be specific, but there were several calls that likely upset the Bulldogs. Most notable was the game-winning basket, when Ole Miss guard Stefan Moody came close to traveling, or did, but either way it wasn’t called.
Georgia also lost Yante Maten, its top scorer and rebounder in the game, to a fifth foul when Maten was going up for a rebound. There did not appear to be hard contact. Maten was battling foul trouble throughout the second half.
“I did speak with the conference office, and that conversation will remain private,” McGarity said Tuesday.
McGarity said he couldn’t recall the number of times over the years he has had such discussions after a game.
“(I) would call only when there is an issue to discuss,” McGarity said.
Georgia and Ole Miss ended up shooting about the same number of free throws (35 for Ole Miss and 34 for Georgia), with Georgia being called for four more fouls. But Moody ended up getting to the line for 18 free throws, the most any Georgia individual opponent has shot this year.
Georgia head coach Mark Fox deferred to McGarity when asked about discussions with the SEC office.
“Obviously we’ve had some conversations but I’ll let Greg handle all that,” Fox said.
Georgia (8-5) has two home games this week, against Tennessee and No. 17 Texas A&M. The Bulldogs are off the radar for the moment when it comes to an NCAA tournament bid, but would be in much better shape had they held on to beat Ole Miss. Georgia led by 15 late in the first half, and by four with 50 seconds left.
Georgia senior guard Kenny Gaines, who was on the floor for the final minute, said he hadn’t allowed himself to watch the replay of Moody’s final basket.
“I chose not to look back at the possession,” Gaines said. “I just try to flush the game and move on to the next one.”