Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: Fox’s Hounds Bring Excitement back to the Steg
On Saturday morning the bulldog basketball team was looking for a signature win. By Saturday night they had found one.
After a remarkable performance against a talented Kentucky team the Georgia basketball team has at least cemented itself in the conversation in the SEC race and could possibly even emerged as a top contender. From the start the Bulldogs set the stage for what would be a mostly dominating performance over the visiting Wildcats in front of a raucous sellout crowd in Stegman. The biggest difference in the game? Free throws. The bulldogs whose free throw woes had plagued them over the course of the early season suddenly found comfort at the line shooting 88% (30-34) while Kentucky only got to the line 16 times converting 10 of those attempts. This new-found success at the line along with timely shooting from the entire lineup was a winning formula for the Dawgs.
This Bulldog demonstrated a greater sense of maturity from last years team and looked ready to make a run throughout SEC play. Everyone knew that Kentucky would make a push but instead of panicking the Dawgs absorbed the blow and after trading jabs for a while came with a knockout puch when Thompkins jumper fell with 2:40 remaining. Thompkins led all scorers with 25 while three other Bulldogs – Ware, Leslie and Robinson – scored in double figures and Price grabbed down 10 important rebounds. Marcus Thornton turned in a great defensive performance in 14 minutes and converted a huge 3 with the shot clock winding down in the first half. Chris Barnes and Donte Williams also delivered some good minutes down the stretch in what was a very complete performance for the Dawgs. They trailed only once by 1 point and led by as many as 13 before 10,523 in Stegman.
From start to finish the crowd was loud and into it. The students were there early and made a difference throughout the performance. Even as Kentucky came back and regained the lead, the Georgia crowd remained in the game willing the Dawgs to victory. The sound reached deafening levels as the clock slipped under a minute and the Bulldog faithful knew that the we were indeed on the way to a statement win for the program. As the final seconds ticked away some of those gathered began to chant overrated and something happened this writer has never seen before. Coach Fox heard the cheer and immediately began to try to stop it. He looked to the students and pounded his chest saying “We are underrated” and after the game tweeted for the fans to do him one favor and instead of cheering overrated, cheer underrated cause that is what the Dawgs were today. But not anymore, the Dawgs are now on the radar. They are known. After the game Scott Van Pelt tweeted for the sports world to pay attention to Athens. Get ready Dawgs, you are about to take the best punch that every team can offer.
Now that the Dawgs have taken that giant step, they must keep the momentum going Wednesday vs Vanderbilt. After a tough overtime loss to South Carolina today, the Commodores will be looking to get a little revenge at the Memorial Coliseum in Nashville. The Dawgs will be looking to give Fox his first SEC road victory and keep their name in the mix as a contender and not a pretender in the SEC East race. Heres hoping that the Dawgs can pull one out on the road.
Until next time, “You stay Classy Classic City.”