Thursday, December 3, 2020

Dribble Dawgs Defeat North Georgia

Led by sophomore Toumani Camara’s career-high 19 points, the University of Georgia men’s basketball team defeated North Georgia, 84-62, Wednesday evening before 1,638 spectators at Stegeman Coliseum.

Camara led all scorers with 19 points, finishing 8-for-18 shooting along with seven rebounds. For the second-consecutive game, fellow sophomore Sahvir Wheeler posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists, while Virginia Tech transfer P.J. Horne pitched in with 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Wheeler is the first Dawg to post consecutive double-doubles since Anthony Edwards last year against Missouri and Texas A&M.

On the night, the Dawgs (2-0) dominated in the paint by a 50-18 margin and outrebounded the Nighthawks (0-0), 48-27, who counted the game as an exhibition matchup.

“We were active. The biggest thing we wanted to make a jump from game one to game two was our pace of play,” said head coach Tom Crean following the game. “We wanted the game defensively. We wanted to establish the game rebounding-wise. You can’t come out and establish the game with jump shots.”

Both teams struggled from the floor in the early going, combining to shoot 1-for-12 through the first media timeout. The scoring began to pick up as graduate Andrew Garcia scored five straight points to break the tie, followed up by a burst from Wheeler and sophomore Tyron McMillan to extend the advantage to 15-4. Following a timeout, Camara broke out with eight unanswered points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

The Dawgs continued to take control as the first half wore on, riding an 8-0 run to a 30-12 lead with just over six minutes to play in the half. Along with a 13-for-15 performance from the free throw line, Georgia’s sharp shooting helped build a 46-26 lead as the teams headed to the locker room. The first-half point total was the highest for the Dawgs since they posted 47 against Arkansas on February 29th.

In the second half, Georgia’s transition game continued to excel, including a thunderous dunk from Camara just before the first media break. Bolstered by five consecutive makes, the Dawgs took a 26-point lead into the under-12 timeout, with Camara clinching his career high on another slam.

With Georgia starting to empty its bench, North Georgia attempted to narrow the margin, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Horne helped build the lead to a game-high 30 points with six minutes remaining. Similar to the victory over Florida A&M, the Dawgs shot 57.1 percent in the second half following a 58.1 percent performance on Sunday.

As they had throughout the evening, the Dawgs used their transition game to stifle the Nighthawks, with Wheeler converting on a 3-point play to close out his impressive evening. For the contest, Georgia outscored North Georgia, 22-2, in fast break points. The Nighthawks would close the game with a 9-1 run to slightly shrink the final tally.

“North Georgia ran its offense extremely well,” said Crean. “They’re very well-coached. They have shooters. They moved the ball, they never panicked. They made us chase them, and I thought our guys did a good job of mixing defenses, but that was a good team and our guys stayed solid with it.”

Georgia will remain home this weekend as it plays host to the Jacksonville Dolphins on Friday, December 4th at Stegeman Coliseum. The non-conference matchup is set for a 7 p.m. tip time and will be broadcast on SEC Network.

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