Georgia bests Wake Forest, 72-66, in NIT Second Round
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Georgia bests Wake Forest, 72-66, in NIT Second Round

Georgia Basketball
Photo: Olivia Wilson/UGAAA

WINSTEM SALEM, N.C. – The Georgia men’s basketball team notched its second postseason victory to keep its season alive as it knocked off the No. 1 seed Wake Forest 72-66 in the 2024 National Invitational Tournament second round at the LJVM Coliseum on Sunday.

Justin Hill led the Bulldogs (19-16, 6-12 SEC) in scoring with a new season high of 21 points. Noah Thomasson added 19 points, going 5-for-8 from behind the arc while Dylan James posted a career-high in scoring with 14 points and four 3-pointers made. Georgia shot the three at a 52 percent clip and tallied 23 points off the bench. After taking the lead at 16-14, the Bulldogs never surrendered the advantage, handing Wake Forest its second home loss of the season.

Drawn at 14 with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half, the Bulldogs began to pull away with a lead. Georgia then sparked a 17-2 run powered by eight consecutive points from Hill before Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe and Thomasson combined for another eight points. The Bulldogs shot 52 percent from the field in the first half as they went into the locker room up 39-24. Georgia maintained its scoring prowess to open the second half, going on a 10-4 run before the first media timeout. Wake Forest drew itself back into the game with a pair of scores from Kevin Miller and Efton Reid followed by four free throws, cutting the deficit to 11 with 12:55 left in the game. The Bulldogs worked to maintain the advantage as James 3-pointer gave Georgia a 10-point lead with 3:26 left to play. The Demon Deacons closed the gap to four points with under a minute to play, but Hill and Thomasson went 4-6 from the free throw line to secure the Bulldogs victory and advance to the next round.

Georgia will face the No. 2 seed Ohio State in the NIT Quarterfinals, with the matchup set to tip off on Wednesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

Five Fast Facts
• Justin Hill posted a new season-high in scoring with 21 points on the day.
• Dylan James recorded a new career-high 14 points and four 3-pointers made against Wake Forest.
• Noah Thomasson knocked down five 3-pointers on the day, marking his fifth performance this season with five or more makes from behind the arc.
• Jalen DeLoach led the team in assists (4), marking a new career high.
• The win marks head coach Mike White’s 15th postseason win in his coaching career.

Key Quote
Head Coach Mike White: “Wake probably had as strong of an argument to make the NCAA tournament as anyone, so this was a really big win for us. You know, it was unique in that we were without Sunahara and big Russ [Tchewa] for us, but I thought our guys really rallied around the fact that we were a little bit short-handed. It was about as hard as we have played in a first half, especially on the road all year. These kids continue to compete in an attempt to lengthen their season. They’re playing with one another. They care about one another.”

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