Georgia falls on road at No. 25 Auburn
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Georgia falls on road at No. 25 Auburn

Photo: Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

AUBURN, Ala. — The Georgia men’s basketball team was unable to overcome the No. 25 Auburn Tigers on the road, losing 94-73 despite a season-high 20 points from Mardrez McBride inside Neville Arena before 9,121 spectators.

Fifth year McBride’s 20 points came primarily from the 3-point arc, going 6-of-8 from long range. This marks the first time since 2016 that a Georgia (14-8, 4-5 SEC) player has made at least five 3-point field goals in back-to-back games. Kario Oqueno also scored double digits for the Bulldogs, reaching 10 points with five made free throws. Auburn’s (17-5, 7-2 SEC) Johni Broome finished with 19 points and 18 boards in just 22 minutes of action.

“Auburn has defended well as a program for a couple of years now,” said head coach Mike White. “They’re a really good defensive team, as is most of our league. I thought their pressure from the jump was a factor in not allowing us to really penetrate that 3-point arc, but the biggest issue early on was the way they set the tone on the offensive glass. … They had already imposed their will on the offensive glass by the first media timeout, which was key the to the game for us.”

The Bulldogs fell behind early due to the Tigers’ work on the offensive glass. Headed into the first media timeout, Auburn racked up six offensive rebounds, four of which came from Broome. Georgia continued to chip away at the Tiger lead as McBride found Jaylin Ingram for an open 3-pointer, making the bucket and putting the score at 16-14 in Auburn’s favor.

However, Auburn would subsequently go on a 17-0 run, getting hot from beyond the arc following Ingram’s bucket. Jusuan Holt would break the Bulldogs’ drought when he converted a fast break layup off a steal from Jabri Abdur-Rahim. Buckets from Holt and Oquendo down the stretch would help shrink the halftime deficit, 42-24.

Georgia opened the second half with a barrage of three pointers, including a pair from McBride, but Wendell Green Jr. would keep the Bulldogs at bay with a three and a layup. With Auburn scoring nine-consecutive points with just under 11 minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs would find themselves down 28.

Despite 3-pointers from Abdur-Rahim and McBride, Georgia was unable to chip away at the lead due to high-powered offense from Auburn in the Plains and ultimately fell to the Tigers. Auburn would lead in point in the paint by a 48-18 margin and won the rebound battle 37-27.

Georgia will return to conference play on Saturday as it takes on Texas A&M in College Station on Feb. 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs are 5-7 all-time against the Aggies.

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