Bulldiogs hope home court provides comfort
After absorbing two losses on the road at Florida and Vanderbilt to fall to 0-3 in SEC play, Georgia hoped to get back on track with its next three games at home.
The Bulldogs, 9-8 overall, were set to host Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Kentucky before having to venture away from Athens again.
Getting back to Athens could be the boost they need to finish out games such as their loss in Nashville.
Though the final margin of the 77-66 loss marked their third consecutive setback by double-digits, the Bulldogs were very much in the game in the closing minutes.
They trailed by just four points after guard Dustin Ware knocked down a couple of free throws following a technical foul on Vandy's Jeffery Taylor with 1:19 to go.
But they missed an opportunity to close that gap even more when Tim Dixon missed the first of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity following Ware's makes, and a couple of missed three-pointers down the stretch allowed Vandy to pull away.
"We just gave up some easy baskets, and slipped up on our defense at the end of the game," freshman guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said.
There was no faulting Georgia's effort in the loss at Vanderbilt.
"We improved on playing hard," freshman G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said. "That was one of our focuses, just playing hard, every game, every minute. We improved on playing hard tonight."
Sophomore F Donte' Williams echoed that sentiment.
"A loss is a loss, but I have to give it up to my team," Williams said. "We played hard. In the last couple minutes we let the game slip away, but we just have to learn from the mistakes we made. We lost the game, so we still have to improve."
G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope bounced back from an eight-point night at Florida to score 19 in the loss at Vanderbilt. He was 6-of-14 from the field overall and 4-of-10 from three-point range, making him 9-of-20 on threes over the last three games.
One of Georgia's strengths has been its ability to take care of the basketball. The Bulldogs were charged with only nine turnovers at Vanderbilt giving them an average of 10.9 a game, fewest in the SEC. The Bulldogs had fewer than 10 turnovers in a game seven times this season, at that point.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"Throughout the game, we made good plays at key times. It still was not good enough, but we are definitely growing." -- Coach Mark Fox, assessing his Bulldogs after the loss at Vanderbilt dropped them to 0-3 in the conference.