Bulldogs fall on Senior Day to Tigers
ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia men’s basketball team fell to Missouri, 85-63, on Senior Day Saturday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum before 10,041 spectators.
Three Georgia (16-13, 6-10 SEC) players finished in double figures, with Kario Oquendo leading the team in scoring with 14 points, including a trio of 3-pointers and a pair of steals. Center Braelen Bridges also had a solid outing on his senior day, earning a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double that saw him shoot perfectly from the field. Mardrez McBride added 12 points, all coming on 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize on a strong first half, scoring 41 points on 48 percent shooting, with Missouri (21-8, 9-7 SEC) forcing 10 turnovers and holding the team to just 31 percent from the field in the second half.
“Thought we were really good for 20 in the first and in the second 20, they came out strong, and both offensively and defensively we just didn’t respond well to adversity,” said head coach Mike White. “…We have got to be mentally tougher than that, we disconnected the second half, and it snowballed on us.”
The game opened with Terry Roberts finding Jaylin Ingram in transition, as the seventh-year forward cashed in a 3-pointer to reach the 1,500-career points mark. Neither team managed to claim a sizeable lead until the Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run when a put-back layup by Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe forced the Tigers to take a timeout as Georgia led 21-15 with just over 12 minutes in the half to go.
Oquendo continued to add to the Bulldogs’ lead, earning five-straight points after making his third 3-pointer of the half and converting a monstrous dunk in transition. Missouri used a 9-1 run off a trio of threes, though, to tie the game up a 27.
McBride began to catch fire from behind the arc, going 3-of-4 from the 3-point line over four minutes and putting pressure on the Missouri defense. A steal and dunk in transition from Justin Hill forced Missouri to call another timeout with just over two minutes to go in the half. The Bulldogs ended the half with a narrow 41-40 lead.
After a hook shot from Bridges began the second half, Missouri responded with a 10-0 to put Georgia down seven. White called a timeout following a step-back 3-pointer from Nick Honor, which put the Bulldogs’ deficit at 53-44. Hill ended the drought for the Bulldogs, making the team’s first field goal since Bridges’ bucket the start of the half off a corner 3-pointer to cut the Tigers’ lead to eight.
Turnovers began to stack up for Georgia, reaching six in the half’s first eight minutes. McBride ended a 14-2 run for Missouri when Roberts found him in the corner for a 3-pointer. The Bulldogs could not stop the Tigers’ hot hand, as Missouri made its seventh field goal from deep at the under-eight media timeout. Georgia could not get its offensive production back in rhythm in the closing frame, falling by an 85-63 margin.
The Bulldogs will play their final game in Stegeman Coliseum against Florida on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network. Georgia holds a 61-45 record against the Gators at its home arena.
Keep up with all the latest news and information on the Bulldogs by following UGA Men’s Basketball on social media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @UGABasketball, and the web at GeorgiaDogs.com.
• Series History – Today’s game marked the 19th meeting between the Bulldogs and Tigers – Missouri leads Georgia 11-8.
• Old Guys – Georgia honored seventh-year Jailyn Ingram, fifth-year Braelen Bridges and seniors Jaxon Etter, Mardrez McBride and Terry Roberts in its Senior Day pregame festivities. The starting lineup featured all five players.
• Double Digit Dawgs – Three Bulldogs notched double-digits points on the evening. Kario Oquendo posted his 17th double-digit performances of the season (41st career), while Braelen Bridges tallied his 13th (62nd career) and Mardrez McBride recorded his sixth (36th career).
• Monumental Moment – Jailyn Ingram eclipsed the 1,500-point mark thanks to a straight-away 3-pointer in the opening minutes of the game. Ingram finished the day with four points.
• The Steg – Despite the loss, Georgia holds a 13-3 record at Stegeman Coliseum this season. A win over Florida next week would equal the most regular season wins at home.
• Deja Vu – Bridges shot 100-percent from the field (5-5 FG) for the second time this season – Previously against Notre Dame (9-9 FG). Bridges also logged his fourth career double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds).
• Sharp Shooter – McBride stayed active behind three-point line knocking down four 3-pointers on the afternoon. The senior has totaled 35 3-pointers this season.
• Boost from the Bench – The Georgia bench outscored the Missouri bench 28-25, bringing the season margin to +129 (675-546).
GEORGIA HEAD COACH MIKE WHITE
“Congrats to Missouri, a really good team. They were fantastic offensively, spread us, put us in compromising situations, they shoot it in multiple spots, shoot off the bounds, off the catch, they share it. They played really hard, they were prepared, and they are a dangerous team come tournament time. I was eager to have a good performance in hopes of honoring our seniors today, did a poor job of preparing our guys emotionally. Thought we were really good for 20 and in the second 20 they came out strong and then both offensively and defensively we just didn’t respond well to adversity. It happens on the road and it’s typical with all teams at this level in college basketball, it’s tough to respond consistently the right way on the road. This was the first time I felt like all year at home that we had that look in our eyes, like we had the last couple and hostile environments against high level teams. And again, credit to those guys, we have got to be mentally tougher than that, we disconnected the second half, and it snowballed on us.”
On the seniors play today…
“A few of our seniors, I thought played really, really hard and left it out there. Jaxon (Etter) was one of those guys. Should’ve got the ball to Braelen (Bridges) more. He was wide open on some high low mismatches. They (Missouri) do a ton of switching of course. They get you thinking and sometimes overthinking a lot of their changing defenses and switching. Something we’ve worked on a ton the last couple days. Knowing Braelen was going to guard him a bunch… We just did a poor job with our interior passing. When he’s open and goes 5-of-5, he should’ve had more attempts. Etter and Mardrez. I talked about him earlier, but how good was it for Mardrez to bounce back. He did some good things too. I thought he left it all out there.”
On the second half struggles…
“We had some shots early, we had some open threes early in the second half, and a couple shots at the rim that didn’t go. We weren’t quite sharp defensively and we closed out short a couple times, the shooters, and they would go in and we weren’t quite as sharp offensively. It’s how we responded. We got good looks first in the zone, they didn’t zone us in the second half, their man to man was pretty sharp. Our first eight seconds, our early clock offense off of makes or misses was nonexistent in the second half, and again that’s an example of respond, of responsive, responding. They go on a foul ball run, a little bit slower take the ball out of bounds, I get the ball on an outlet and the pitch aheads are open, what are we calling, what are we doing, overthinking. First half I thought we played downhill, our early clock offense was really prodcutvie. We did less play calling in the first twenty than we probably have all season, and when we didn’t turn it over, got really good looks. second half, our offensive responses again to those main field goals was subpar and that’s something we are going to continue to work on.”
On what this team is playing for…
“We’re playing for our seniors today. To honor our seniors. We’re one win away from tying the all-time school record for home wins if I’m not mistaken. Our guys knew that. We’re playing for each other. 1,2,3, family. 1,2,3, team. What are you saying in the huddle? Does it mean something? First and foremost it is that. We’re playing for one another. Again, I’m as down as anyone, but our first 20(minutes) was pretty good. We give up that last three for them to cut it before the half. They don’t make a couple of shots. We were blanketed all over them a couple of times in the first half, but they can really, really shoot it. We could have been up four, up eight easily we finish strong in the first half. Maybe I shouldn’t say 20, but the first 18 minutes was really good. That second half, They were mentally tough. They responded better to our made field goals and to their adversities. Probably a big reason they will go to the NCAA Tournament.”
SEVENTH-YEAR FORWARD JAILYN INGRAM
On the second half of the game…
“We just came out in the second half flat. We lost our edge, and we were unable to get it back. I think we splintered from there.”
On Senior Day…
“There was a lot of energy. Definitely adrenaline running for everybody. The seniors know that, in that point in time, two left. We have one more game left now, so we just wanted to go out there and leave everything out on the court.”
SENIOR GUARD JAXON ETTER
On Senior Day…
“It was an honor to walk out on Senior Day as a Dawg. There is nothing I would rather do than be honored the way they did. They did an awesome job honoring us and saying some really amazing things. I’m glad I got to walk out with my family, but that’s completely apart from the result of the game. We were disappointed.”
On getting the start…
“It was cool. It was really cool. I’m glad Coach White was able to make that decision. I think it was cool for us seniors to have one last moment together.”
On the second half of the game…
“They hit a big three going into the halftime, and I thought halftime was going to be a good time for us to regroup. They came out and shot the ball really well. We didn’t respond as well as we shoudl have. Credit to them. They’re a really good basketball team, and they shot the ball really well. Coach White is going to come in here and say something like this one is on him. But it’s not on him, it’s on the players, the team. This one is on us.”