Georgia Insider: Bulldogs need to grow up

Georgia will enter SEC play riding a five-game winning streak, but coach Mark Fox knows the Bulldogs are going to have to pick up the pace when they host Alabama in their league opener on Jan. 7.

Though the Bulldogs dominated the rebounding 40-26 and made only eight turnovers, they weren’t exactly overpowering in their 58-51 win over a subpar Delaware State team to close out the 2011 portion of their schedule.

The visitors, who came into the game with just four wins in 10 outings, were within three points at the halftime break after leading by 10 points earlier.

Georgia never managed more than a 10-point cushion over the second half, and that didn’t come until the closing seconds.

“We did rebound the ball well and we made some plays, but we can’t be successful in the SEC playing like that,” Fox said. “We’ll take the win and learn as much as we can from it, but we need to grow up.”

And fast.

After hosting the Crimson Tide, the Bulldogs are on the road for their next two games, at Florida on Jan. 10 and at Vanderbilt on Jan. 14.

All three opponents are considered potential conference contenders.

NOTES, QUOTES

Senior G Gerald Robinson was the star of Georgia’s overtime win over Winthrop on Dec. 27. He scored the final six points of regulation, including two on a length-of-the-court drive with 2.6 seconds remaining, to send the game to the extra period.

Robinson wound up the night with 22 points, a season-high.

Over a four-game stretch following the break for final exams, he averaged 18.0 points a game and shot 68 percent from the field.

His double-figure streak ended when he had only eight points in the win over Delaware State on Dec. 30.

Georgia has allowed only five of its first 14 opponents to shoot better than 40 percent from the field. Winthrop was the last to do it, shooting 43.0 percent in its overtime loss.

The other four teams to do it all beat the Bulldogs.

Georgia Tech was 35-of-48 from the field (52.1 percent) in its 68-56 win, and Cal hit an even 50 percent (25-of-50) in winning 70-46. Xavier shot 49 percent (24-of-49) in winning 70-56, and Colorado shot 44 percent (22-of-50) in its 70-68 win.

Senior G Dustin Ware has gone 15-of-24 (62.5 percent) during Georgia’s five-game winning streak. For the season, he is hitting 41.2 percent from three-point range through Georgia’s 14 games.

BY THE NUMBERS: 45 — Georgia has taken good care of the basketball in its five-game winning streak, finishing in single digits in turnovers in all but one game. The Bulldogs had 12 against Winthrop and followed that with eight against Delaware State for a total of 45 over the five games.

QUOTE TO NOTE

“It’s different. But I’m making adjustments, going out there and being aggressive and just trying to play hard. I’m just going out and doing whatever I can do to help the team win.” — Senior G Dustin Ware, on his new role coming off the bench after starting the first 87 games of his career.