ATHENS — Georgia basketball ended the home portion of its season on a decidedly downward note, falling to Missouri 64-39.
It was a depressing Senior Night setting as time expired, half of the announced crowd of 7,180 long gone, while what was left of the student section chanted “thank you seniors.”
The only positive was that UGA chose to honor the senior players before, and not after, the game.
It was the most lopsided home defeat of the season and the fewest points scored in a game under first-year coach Tom Crean at UGA.
“Tonight was a dud,” Nicolas Claxton said. “Offensively, defensively, rebounding, really everybody across the board.”
The Bulldogs (11-19, 2-15 SEC) fell below the previous low-water marks set in losses to Clemson (64-49, Nov. 20) and Kentucky (69-49, Jan. 15).
“We never got our competitive level or intensity level where it needed to be throughout the game,” Crean said. “We’re not physical enough at times, and we don’t talk nearly enough.
“We just lost our focus.”
The last time a UGA men’s basketball team scored 39 points or fewer was in a 61-39 loss to Vanderbilt in 2004.
The teams were each 0-for-14 from beyond the 3-point arc before Torrence Watson hit a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 32-16 lead with 15:19 left.
The Bulldogs hit their first 3-pointer with 11:08 left when JoJo Toppin connected from the corner to cut the lead to 38-21, snapping a string of 15 straight misses from beyond the arc.
Georgia forward Rayshaun Hammonds did not play, presumably on account of the injured right foot that has hampered him of late.
Hammonds had an unproductive five minutes in the Bulldogs’ 61-55 win at Florida last Saturday and didn’t play in last Wednesday’s loss to Auburn.
Claxton led Georgia with 9 points on 3-of-6 shooting, also pulling down 10 rebounds.
Missouri (14-15, 5-12) was led by Jordan Geist, who scored 18 points. The Tigers out-rebounded Georgia 50-28.
The Bulldogs honored six seniors before Wednesday night’s tip: William “Turtle” Jackson, Derek Ogbeide, Christian Harrison, E’Torrion Wilridge, Mike Edwards and Connor O’Neill.
Missouri held a 25-14 lead over Georgia at the half, the Bulldogs struggling mightily from the field from the onset en route to a 13-of-51 (25.5 percent) shooting night.
It was the fewest points in a half for a UGA men’s basketball team since Nov. 12, 2012, when the Bulldogs suffered a 68-56 loss to Youngstown State.
Georgia was just 6-of-26 shooing though the first half and was out-rebounded 32-16.
Georgia returns to action at 1 p.m. on Saturday at South Carolina in the regular season finale.
The Bulldogs dropped an 86-80 decision to the Gamecocks on Feb. 2 in Stegeman Coliseum.
The SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament begins next Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Georgia is assured of the 7 p.m. (eastern) game on Wednesday (TV: SEC Network) against Missouri, Texas A&M or Arkansas.