CHARLESTON, S.C.—The Georgia men’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a ten point first half deficit as it lost to the Davidson Wildcats 94-82 Thursday night in the opening round of the Charleston Classic.
Junior forward Nemanja Djurisic led Georgia (1-2) with 19 points and six rebounds. Sophomore guards Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines and freshman forward Cameron Forte also scored in double figures. It’s the first time since December of 2012 that the Bulldogs have had four players score at least ten points.
“We scored the ball at a pretty good percentage, but we got worn out at the [defensive] end,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We’re not as good of a defensive team right now and the free throw line was the big difference in the game. There are obviously a couple of turnovers that we would like to have back, but I thought those numbers were good and our percentages were good.
“What has plagued our team the last couple years is our ability to score the ball. [This year’s team] is a better offensive team so that part is good, but we have to improve at the defensive end and tonight we hopefully learned some lessons.”
In the game, Georgia shot a season-best 55 percent from the field, including 41 percent from behind the arc. The Bulldogs also went 19-of-24 from the free throw line, but shot 17 less free throws than Davidson (1-3).
The Bulldogs used a 12-0 run midway through the first half to take a 26-23 lead, its last of the game, before Brian Sullivan, who scored 18 first half points, helped Davidson take a 46-36 lead into the locker rooms with a 9-0 run over the half’s final three minutes. Though Georgia led the rebounding and field goal percentage battles at halftime, it was hurt by nine first half turnovers.
Cameron Forte scored two of his ten points to cut the Davidson lead to nine with 9:28 remaining in the second half, but the Wildcats responded with a run capped by a Tyler Kallnoski three-pointer to regain a 14-point lead. Davidson held it’s largest lead of the game with six minutes remaining when Jack Gibbs made a layup to put his team up 17 points, 85-68.
Davidson was paced offensively by De’Mon Brooks and Brian Sullivan who scored 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Georgia will play either Temple (1-2) or Clemson (3-0) on Friday at 7:00p.m. The game can be seen on ESPN3.com.
Georgia vs. Davidson Game Notes
• Georgia's starting lineup was Charles Mann (11th career start), Kenny Gaines (3rd), Cameron Forte (2nd), Marcus Thornton (29th) and Donte' Williams (62nd).
• At halftime, Georgia held the statistical edge in two major categories: FG% (50-46), Rebs. (17-14), but had committed five more turnovers than Davidson and shot 15 less free throws. After 40 minutes, Georgia held the FG% advantage, but lost the turnover (16-5) and rebounding (31-30) battles.
• Davidson led Georgia in free throws attempted, 41-24. Both teams shot 80 percent from the free throw stripe for the game.
• This marks the first time this season (including the exhibition) that the same player has led Georgia in points and rebounds (Djurisic, 19/6)
• Tonight marks the first time that Georgia has had four players in doubles figures (Djurisic-19; Mann-18; Gaines-13; Forte-10) since it’s 81-78 loss to Iona on Dec. 15, 2012.
• Tonight’s offensive output was the most in a 40-minute game since Georgia scored 86 points vs. Miss. State on Jan. 22, 3011. It was the most points a Georgia defense has allowed in 40 minutes since allowing 95 to LSU in Feb, 2, 2005.
• Cameron Forte set a career-high with 10 points (9 vs. Wofford this season)
• Nemanja Djurisic 21 (Florida A&M in 2012-13)
• Kenny Gaines tied a career high for the second time with 13 points. (Most recently, Georgia Tech this season)
• Juwan Parker tied a career-high with six rebounds (Georgia Tech this season)
The Series: Georgia has lost its last four meetings with Davidson and now trails in the all-time series, 1-4. The Bulldogs are 81-20 all-time against the Southern Conference.
Up Next: Georgia will square off with either Temple or Clemson (currently in progress). The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN3.com.