Schwartz, George Mason down the Bulldogs
Athens, Ga. — George Mason (6-5) never trailed Georgia (4-6) in its 80-67 win on Saturday night.
The Patriots played well from tip-off, jumping out to lead 19-4 at the 13:57 mark of the first half.
On the other hand, the Bulldogs responded to that early punch with their own 8-0 run. That is when George Mason senior guard D’Shawn Schwartz responded out of a timeout by connecting on three consecutive 3-pointers to extend the lead back to 28-12.
Georgia got to within double-digits several times throughout the opening period and trailed by eight points at halftime. At one point, the Bulldogs trailed 67-61 in the second half after freshman guard Christian Wright hit a couple of free throws. Even so, the Patriots answered with a 6-0 run as Schwartz and Devon Cooper hit a pair of 3-pointers to push the game back to double figures.
George Mason, which came into the contest shooting 35.4 percent from the 3-point line, connected on 11-of-26 (42.3 percent) from that mark against the Bulldogs. That proved to be the difference Schwarts led all scorers with 21 points and shot 50 percent from the 3-point line.
“I think we just got in such a hole, and we were just trying to claw and fight our way back,” Georgia’s Noah Baumann said. “We just couldn't disrupt their flow at all. We had a couple of spurts, a couple of runs here and there because basketball is a game of runs.”
Schwartz was followed in scoring by Josh Oduro, who had 20 points. The Patriots also had two more players in double figures in Davonte Gaines (13) and Cooper (10), respectively.
Georgia was led by senior Braelen Bridges, who totaled 13 points and seven rebounds. Baumann was the Bulldogs’ second-leading scorer with 11 points, while freshman Jabri Abdur-Rahim added nine. Aaron Cook and Kario Oquendo, who are two of Georgia’s top scorers, combined for 12 points on 5-of-22 shooting (22.7 percent).
Fourth-year head coach Tom Crean acknowledged the fact that the Bulldogs were feeling the impact of not having senior Jailyn Ingram, who is out for the rest of the season with an injury.
“Outside of the onslaught at the beginning, which 19-4, I don’t feel like we’re not going to come back whatsoever,” Crean said. “We got it to a two-possession game. The problem for us, at times, was that we didn’t follow the game plan and defensively, that just can’t happen. We can’t be bumping the cross-screen one time and not bumping it the next time. It has to be consistent and it has to be ongoing. No excuses, that’s where we miss Jailyn (Ingram) with the talk. We have to be more physical next time.”
Georgia’s will host Western Carolina on Monday in Stegeman Coliseum at 7 p.m.