Cain’s 18 leads Georgia over Alabama A&M, 93-73
ATHENS, Ga. – Blue Cain led the team in scoring for the second time this season, tying his career-high of 18 points as the Georgia Bulldogs defeated Alabama A&M, 93-73, before 7,793 spectators inside Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (10-3) had four players finish in double figures alongside Cain. RJ Melendez finished with 11 points, six rebounds and a career-high four steals while Silas Demary Jr. and Justin Hill each had 10 points and five assists. Georgia finished with 56 bench points and 48 points in the paint against Alabama A&M (1-11), both of which were the team’s season high.
Despite a slow offensive start scoring only 11 points in the first seven minutes, the Bulldogs closed out the opening half with 34 points and carried a 45-24 lead into the locker room. Seven different players had at least four points in the first half, led by Cain’s eight from a pair of 3-pointers. Georgia continued to impress in the second half, growing its lead to as many as 33 with eight players scoring at least seven points in the contest. This marks the second time this season the Bulldogs scored at least 90 points and the first time having multiple 90-point games in a season since 2020-21.
Georgia’s contest against the opposing Bulldogs marked the final game for official Tony Greene, who began officiating for the Southeastern Conference in 1988. During his career, Greene was a referee for six Final Fours and more SEC Tournament games than any other official in the event’s history.
Georgia has concluded its six-game homestand and the non-conference portion of its schedule. The team will begin Southeastern Conference play on Jan. 6 against Missouri at 1 p.m. ET, which will be televised on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs are 8-11 versus the Tigers all time and are seeking their first win in the series since winning at home on Feb. 16, 2021.
Five Fast Facts
• The Bulldogs have started 10-3 or better in consecutive seasons for the first time since doing so in its 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons.
• Georgia produced its largest lead in a game this season, as it led 75-42 (33 points) with 9:27 left in the second half.
• The Bulldogs tallied 15 steals against Alabama A&M, tied for most in the Mike White era.
• Georgia’s freshman Blue Cain (18 points) and Silas Demary Jr. (10 points) reached double figures for the fifth and sixth time this season, respectively.
• RJ Sunahara recorded seven points, four rebounds and one block on the day, all tallied in the first half for new season-highs.
Head Coach Mike White: “We wanted to stay in front of the ball. We wanted to stay in gaps and be active. We didn’t do a great job actually at times with tracing the basketball, pressuring passes that led to post feeds that led to fouls. You have to do a better job in that category and a bunch of other categories. But, that said, we’ve been a pretty good defensive team to this point. We’ve got to continue to improve to be competitive in the best league in college basketball.”
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- The starting lineup was freshman Silas Demary Jr., senior Jabri Abdur-Rahim and graduates Noah Thomasson, RJ Sunahara and Russel Tchewa.
- This win marks the eighth time the team has started 10-3 or better since the 1988-99 season and the first time since the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons Georgia has started 10-3 or better in consecutive seasons.
- The Bulldogs scored 56 bench points on the day, marking the most scored in a game this season.
- Georgia’s bench produced 24 first half points, matching Alabama A&M’s 24 team total first half points.
- Georgia’s 48 points in the paint mark the most scored in a game this season.
- The Bulldogs recorded 24 points off turnovers, marking the most scored in a game this season.
- Georgia outrebounded its opponent for the fifth time this season, taking the battle on the boards 37-33 against Alabama A&M.
- The Bulldogs tallied 15 steals against Alabama A&M, tied for most in the Mike White era.
- Georgia produced its largest lead in a game this season, as it led 75-42 (33 points) with 9:27 left in the second half.
- This is the fifth time a Mike White-led team has started 10-3 or better in its first 13 games.
- The 46 points scored by Georgia in the opening half is the third-most this season.
- The Bulldogs forced more turnovers (22) than any other game this season.
- This win extends the longest winning streak under Coach White to eight games.
- This is the second game this season Georgia scored 90+ points, marking the first time the program has had multiple 90-point games in a season since 2020-21.
- Blue Cain led the Bulldogs with 18 points as he reached double figures for the fifth time in his career.
- Silas Demary Jr. reached double figures for the sixth time in his career, finishing with 10 points.
- Justin Hill reached double figures for the sixth time this season, finishing with 10 points.
- RJ Melendez reached double figures for the eighth time this season, finishing with 11 points.
- RJ Sunahara finished the day with new season highs in points (7), rebounds (4) and blocks (1), all tallied in the first half.
- RJ Melendez set a new career high in steals (4) with all coming in the first half.
- Frank Anselem-Ibe tied his season-high in blocks (2) with both coming in the first half.
- Dylan James set a new career-high in points scored, finishing with nine points on the day.
- Jaden Newell recorded his first career points, finishing with two points.
GEORGIA HEAD COACH MIKE WHITE
On expectations for the team going into conference play…
“It’s still alive – that potential opportunity, that dream for all these student athletes to play in the postseason. You know, we’ll get the conference tournament, of course, as we continue to improve and win the right ones in our league – win enough in addition. Maybe we’ll have that opportunity, but I don’t know. Right now, it’s about resting, mentally and physically, and the preparing for a tough road game at Missouri and just playing as well as we can possibly play. See where it goes from there.”
On RJ Sunahara’s contributions since returning from injury…
“I think if you ask him or anyone in our locker room, they would all tell you that he is kind of a glue guy. He’s good at a lot. He makes winning plays. He’s unselfish. He’s got some toughness. He knows how to play. He’s won a lot of games and has a lot of experience, of course, because of his incredible career at his previous spot. I thought he played well.”
On the defensive game plan…
“We wanted to stay in front of the ball. We wanted to stay in gaps and be active. We didn’t do a great job actually at times with tracing the basketball, pressuring passes that led to post feeds that led to fouls. You have to do a better job in that category and a bunch of other categories. But, that said, we’ve been a pretty good defensive team to this point. We’ve got to continue to improve to be competitive in the best league in college basketball.
On what he’s learned from his team so far this season…
“We’re talented. We’re deep, but the rest of the SEC is, as well. So, we’ve got our hands full. Again, best league in the country. It’s the best it’s ever been. We’ve got to continue to improve.”
On Blue Cain’s contributions to the team…
“As our freshman guards continue to get more comfortable, I think it gives our older guys a little more confidence in who they can become in time. They’ve got to improve. The younger guys have to improve, as well. Blue settled in a little bit more today, and each of these young guys are running a separate race, and each of them have a separate process. Silas [Demary Jr.] earned a lot of opportunities early. Blue’s earned more throughout the season. I thought Dylan James just played his best game, as well, also. I like that our freshman continue to improve. Biggest thing with Blue, he scored it well, super efficient, and was unselfish. He wasn’t hunting shots. Just let it come to him. Played the right way. I thought he did a pretty good job defensively, as well.”
On where the team has improved the most this season…
“Overall, our defensive efficiency has just steadily improved in these first 13. Tonight was our best rebounding night offensively, at least in a long time. And I thought we defended the glass really well only giving up six, which is a positive for us. Continued to shoot it better from three throughout the season, but we have to have a bunch of those nights in league play to be competitive. Got to get better on the offensive glass. Got to get better at transition defense. Got to convert at a higher level from the foul line than we did tonight. We usually do better than that. Fouled too much tonight. We have to play with more discipline defensively.”
On how the team can prepare for tough roads games in conference play..
“We’ll do what we do year in, year out. We’ll address it. We’ll watch film. At times, we’ll pump up the volume a little bit in the practice facility. At least for us, we’ve played a handful of high-major games. It prepares you to a certain extent, but the start of league play intensifies it for everybody.”
#0 | BLUE CAIN | FR. | G
On his offensive success versus Alabama A&M…
“I just think I let the game come to me, I didn’t really force anything and the shots just happened to fall. Our game plan was more about us, we just wanted to share the ball and make progress towards our goal.”
On areas of improvement before SEC play…
“Just cutting down on turnovers, making sure we’re talking and being physical because SEC play is really physical.”
On the preparation for Georgia’s first in-conference road game…
“I just look at it as any other game, we’re just focused on ourselves. That’s always been our mentality, is just focus on us and so whatever environment we go into we’re more so just worried about what we do and what we believe.”