Georgia holds on to defeat Wake Forest, 80-77
ATHENS, Ga. — In his first game at Stegeman Coliseum, Noah Thomasson led the Georgia men’s basketball team in scoring with 21 points as the Bulldogs defeated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 80-77, before 8,176 spectators on Friday evening.
All five starters for the Bulldogs scored double figures. Thomasson added five boards and a team-best three assists to his 21 points, Jabri Abdur-Rahim totaled 17 points with three 3-pointers and four rebounds while Russel Tchewa finished with 11 points and six boards. Both RJ Melendez and Silas Demary Jr. had 10 points, also contributing six and five rebounds respectively. As a team, Georgia won the battle of the paint, outscoring Wake Forest in paint points by a 46-26 margin.
After starting the game 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, Wake Forest led by eight points following the first 10 minutes. Georgia responded with a 20-4 run down the stretch of the opening frame to create a 40-36 lead heading into halftime. The Bulldogs carried this momentum into the second half, scoring 10 straight points capped off by a deep 3-pointer from Abdur-Rahim which forced a Wake Forest timeout. Despite leading by as many as 13 with seven and a half minutes to go, the Demon Deacons cut into the lead and had a chance to tie it on the final possession of the game down three points. Wake Forest had two shot attempts to push it to overtime but disciplined defense from Georgia forced misses as the Bulldogs claimed its first win of the season.
Georgia will return to the hardwood on Sunday for its next game against North Carolina Central at 5 p.m. ET, which will be streamed on the SEC Network+. This will mark the second contest between the two schools, with the Bulldogs previously beating the Eagles by 36 points on Dec. 4, 2019.
Five Fast Facts
• With 17 points, Jabri Abdur-Rahim reached double-digit points for the 21st time in his career, also making three 3-pointers for the second-straight game.
• Silas Demary Jr. hit double-digit points in the contest, marking the first time he has reached the figure in his collegiate career.
• Georgia is the only Power conference team in the nation to open the season with back-to-back games against Power conference opponents.
• Georgia improves to 55-6 all-time in home openers at Stegeman Coliseum. This season is the first time since 2017 when the Bulldogs’ first home game wasn’t also their initial contest of the season.
• Georgia now holds a 5-3 record in the team’s series against Wake Forest. This marks the first of four Atlantic Coast Conference teams the Bulldogs will play during the non-conference slate – Miami (Nov. 17), Florida State (Nov. 29), and Georgia Tech (Dec. 5).
#1 Jabri Abdur-Rahim, Guard: “It’s huge. I mean, we didn’t want to go 0-2 and we didn’t want to lose in front of our fans. Beating a team like that shows how good we can be. We knew how good we were, we just had to put it on display for everyone else to see.”
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