Georgia looking for turnaround following ugly loss to Aggies
Georgia is looking for a quick recovery after its first Top 25 test produced the Bulldogs' worst loss under seventh-year coach Mark Fox.
The Bulldogs need a turnaround, starting with Wednesday night's game at Missouri, if they are to show they can still be a contender for a second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
More than one win may be needed to remove the stain left by the ugly 79-45 loss to No. 10 Texas A&M. Georgia (9-6, 2-3 Southeastern Conference) was overwhelmed in every phase, as it offered its worst shooting performance of the season and gave up its highest shooting percentage to an opponent.
Fox wasn't happy, but at least he doesn't believe his team won't face a better opponent in the SEC.
''We weren't pleased with our team in any phase of the game, but that's taking nothing away from A&M,'' Fox said Monday. ''They're as good a team probably as this league has.''
Georgia shot under 30 percent from the field in each half and finished at a season-low 28.3 percent for the game.
''There's obviously lessons to be learned when you get your tail whipped like this,'' Fox said after the game. ''I'm not going to panic because we got our brains beat in.''
Georgia will play Missouri for the second time this month. The Bulldogs were in control most of the game in beating the Tigers 77-59 in Athens on Jan. 6.
Missouri (8-9, 1-3) has lost two straight but is 8-2 at home. The Tigers are coming off an 81-72 loss at No. 24 South Carolina. It was Missouri's first game since banning itself from the SEC tournament and any other postseason appearances for NCAA violations.
Fox saw the close loss at South Carolina as proof Missouri has improved since losing at Georgia.
''They're a better team just two weeks later than they were then,'' he said.
While Texas A&M stands in first place as the only SEC team without a conference loss, Georgia was left looking exposed in the middle of the pack.
Before the loss, the Bulldogs appeared to be on the upswing. They have had strong 3-point shooting from J.J. Frazier and Kenny Gaines to balance the inside production from forward Yante Maten, the team's rising star. Against the Aggies, however, Maten's modest total of 11 points left him as Georgia's only scorer in double figures.
Frazier and Mann combined to make only two of nine 3-pointers.
''We couldn't execute offensively,'' Frazier said. ''We couldn't make them miss defensively. That happens when you're playing a Top 25 team in the country. If you don't execute well as a team, you won't win.''
Maten leads Georgia with his averages of 15.9 points and 7.4 rebounds. He has emerged as a sophomore after playing behind Marcus Thornton and Nemanja Djurisic last season.
''The loss of those two guys has opened up a great deal of minutes and shots and opportunities and he's been prepared to take advantage of those opportunities, so he's been more productive this year,'' Fox said of Maten.
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