ATHENS — A season that was supposed to be about a breakthrough has turned into one of immense frustration.
Georgia was blown out, its frustrated head coach was ejected in the first half, and the Bulldogs’ NCAA tournament hopes are now on life support. after a 80-60 loss Wednesday night to Alabama at Stegeman Coliseum.
In a game it was favored to win, Georgia instead trailed throughout, with head coach Mark Fox’s ejection back-firing. The Bulldogs (12-8 overall, 4-4 in the SEC) lost their composure, getting called for three technicals as well as a flagrant foul, trailing throughout to Alabama (12-7, 5-2).
For the first time this season, Georgia has lost two games in a row. There are still 11 games plus the SEC tournament remaining. But after losing three of four, the Bulldogs are officially reeling.
– Player of the game: Alabama forward Braxton Key led a dominating inside effort for Alabama, scoring 26 points and hauling in nine rebounds. Georgia’s best player was Yante Maten (20 points), but he only had five rebounds and struggled defensively.
– Stat line of the game: Alabama was only 13th in the SEC in 3-point percentage, looked like the best outside shooting team in the conference. It went 9-for-15 beyond the arc, helping it push the game into blowout territory.
– Turning point: While Alabama had led throughout the first half, it was still a manageable deficit when the palming call was made against Harris. That set off Fox, and the subsequent two technical and four free throws led to an 11-point deficit. It grew to 14 on a 3 at halftime, and the 3s continued for Alabama in the second half, which soon led by 20.
– What’s next: Georgia gets a break from SEC play as Texas, itself struggling, visits Saturday as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. The game tips off at 4 p.m.