Ole Miss Travels to Athens and Hands a 70 to 60 Defeat to Georgia

Blayne Gilmer

Georgia entered Saturday evening's home contest against the Ole Miss Rebels desperately in need of a win after losing two SEC games in a row and owning a 1 - 4 conference record. Despite being favored heading into the game, the Dawgs turned in a dismal shooting performance and just overall sloppy play, which lead to a 70 to 60 loss.

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Georgia started off the game missing their first two field-goal attempts and a couple of free throws as well. Conversely, Ole Miss was red hot. The Rebels hit their first three shots of the game, including a three-pointer from Sophomore Guard Blake Hinson. Trialing 8-2 at the 17:54 mark, Anthony Edwards would make his presence know in the game with back-to-back three-pointers for the Dawgs in the span of 1 minute and 39 seconds. The two teams would trade layups on the next two possessions, with Georgia's Donnell Gresham Jr. going up hard and making his attempt despite taking a hard foul. Going into the first TV timeout it was all tied up at 10.

Coming out of the break. The Dawgs entered into a sloppy stage of play. in a 4 minute and 6-second stretch, Georgia turned the ball over three times and failed to get open looks. Ole Miss was able to drive to the basket largely unimpeded during that time and make three layups and a long-distance shot beyond the arc. At the 11:23 mark, it was Rebels 19 Georgia 13. 

At the 10:05 mark, Georgia had Tyree Crump headed to the free-throw line down eight points and not having scored in over three minutes of play. Crump would make those two free throws and provide a spark on the next possession by aggressively driving to the hoop and dishing it out to a wide-open Jordan Harris on the left wing for a much needed three-point basket to bring the Dawgs within three of Ole Miss. The 21 to 18 Rebels lead would remain heading into the TV stoppage at the 7:48 mark in the first half.

The offense for Georgia remained stagnant and the shooting suffered for the next few minutes. Ole Miss stretched the lead out to 8 going on an 11-6 run. Down 32 to 24, Jordan Harris did his best to revive the struggling Georgia offense with another three-pointer and Anthony Edwards would go on to sink to free throws, but that would be all the scoring the Dawgs could muster before half time. Ole Miss entered the locker room with a 35 to 29 lead.

As the second half started, Tom Crean's squad was hoping to improve upon a dismal shooting performance in the first half. The Dawgs went 9 of 27 from the field and surrendered way too many open looks and layups on the defensive end, allowing Ole Miss to shoot 55.6 percent overall and go a perfect 4 of 4 from three-point land.

The first 3 minutes of the second half proved to be more of the same except worse. With 17:17 to play, Georgia had not yet scored a point against Ole Miss and the Rebels stayed hot as Junior Forward Khadim Sy went on a personal five-point run and pushed the margin to 11 in favor of the Rebels, 40 to 29.

Every spark for Georgia to this point in the game seemingly had come from Senior Guard Jordan Harris. Harris hit his third three-pointer of the game at the 16:12 mark and drained two free throws on Georgia's subsequent possession to cut the lead to six with 15:13 remaining.

Sahvir wheeler then fed off that energy displayed by his Senior teammate and got a steal that lead to a fast-break bucket that awakened a Stegman Colesium crowd that was in need of something to cheer for. The lead was down to two. 40 to 38 Ole Miss with 13:44 to play in the game.

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A flurry of defensive activity by Anthony Edwards, Sahvir Wheeler, and Jordan Harris lead to free throw opportunities that were capitalized on by both teams. Then, once again, Jordan Harris displayed intestinal fortitude and leadership for this young Bulldog team, stealing the ball from Ole Miss's Bryce Williams with 12:25 to play and immediately kicking it out to a racing Sahvir Wheeler.

Wheeler would find a trailing Anthony Edwards on the play and the Freshmen phenom raised up and nailed a three from the left wing to give Georgia its first lead of the since the 13:39 mark in the first half. 43 - 42 Ole Miss with 12:31 to play. The euphoric eruption out of the Georgia faithful was enough to cause Ole Miss to take a timeout. 

Over the next 4 minutes and 43 seconds, Georgia would get what they and the crowd felt like was a series of tough calls. An under the basket out of bounds in the favor of the Dawgs was overruled by and official way from the ball and determined that a shot clock violation occurred first. Also, some very physical play went without whistles to the chagrin of Tom Crean and company. Ole Miss had recaptured the momentum and the lead from the Dawgs to the tune of 50 to 47 at the 7:48 mark.

Georgia collectively wilted from this point forward. The Dawgs were unable to make shots, secure rebounds, and avoid costly turnovers. Frustration on the offensive end lead to breakdowns on defense and Ole Miss had stretched the lead out to 8 after a three-pointer by Breein Tyree in transition. At the 3:21 mark, Georgia trailed 61 to 53.

The game closed out with more of the same. Anthony Edwards failed to ever get going, finishing 3 of 12 from the field with 13 points and Georgia was just not able to regain any substantial momentum. The Dawgs would fall to the Rebels and also would drop to 1 - 5 in conference play and 11 - 8 overall.

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