ATHENS — There was drama, again. There was a critical replay review, again. This time, however, Georgia ended up being able to breathe relief, as the other team’s last-second shot rolled in and out.
Georgia first rallied and then held on, as a buzzer-beating hook shot by Texas’ Jarrett Allen rolled off the rim. No overtime, and a much-needed victory for Georgia, 59-57, ending a two-game losing streak.
This after a replay review overturned a Derek Ogbeide putback that would have given Georgia a four-point lead with 7.5 seconds left. It was ruled a shot-clock violation, the second straight Saturday a critical review went against Georgia, after the Texas A&M debacle. This time, however, there was still time to atone, and Georgia did on defense.
It would have been a disastrous loss for Georgia’s already-sinking NCAA hopes. Texas entered the game with an RPI rank of 124 and a record of 8-12. And the Bulldogs did trail by nine at halftime.
But big shots and free throws in the second half got the Bulldogs (13-8) back on track as it enters the most arduous stretch of its season.
– Player of the game: Yante Maten led the way as usual, scoring 21 points, nine of them at the free throw line, and playing 35 minutes.
– Stat line of the game: 2. That’s the number of made 3s by Georgia the entire game, both by Jordan Harris in the second half. The freshman had started the previous 12 games, but was benched in favor of Turtle Jackson. But Harris came off the bench and hit those two critical 3s, the first to give Georgia its first lead since early in the game, and the other one to tie it.
– Turning point: The first five minutes of the second half, when Georgia scored eight straight points to cut the lead to one. After that, the key sequence started with about eight minutes left: Trailing by one, J.J. Frazier hit a long jumper while being fouled, and made the free throw. That began an 8-0 run, with Juwan Parker’s three-point play, set up by a great pass-down by Maten.
– What’s next: Georgia’s most difficult game of the season, on paper, as it travels to Rupp Arena to face Kentucky on Tuesday. It begins a stretch of three games against the SEC’s three best teams: Saturday at South Carolina, then Florida visits on Feb. 7. Georgia likely needs to win at least one of those to get back into conversation for an NCAA bid.