November 17, 2009

Shots don't fall for Dawgs against Wofford

It had already been a bad day for Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox.

A Tuesday morning ticket by UGA campus police got his morning off to a crummy start before Wofford ruined his evening, beating his Bulldogs 60-57 before an announced Stegeman Coliseum crowd of 4,629.

"My day started out with a parking ticket and it didn't end a whole lot better," Fox said. "It was a hard-fought game. You have to give Wofford credit. They shot the ball in from the 3-point lined and really deserve credit for playing well. We really have a lot of room to grow. Hopefully, we can take this game and learn some lessons from it."

This one went right down the final buzzer.

The Terriers led by as many as six points in the second half, but with six seconds remaining, point guard Dustin Ware stepped to the line with a chance to tie the game.

Ware made the first of his two free throws, but after a timeout by Wofford coach Mike Young, the sophomore missed his second attempt, leaving the Terriers with a slim 58-57 lead.

Following a quick foul by Ricky McPhee, Wofford's Cameron Rundles hit both of his free throws but with 3.2 seconds left, Georgia still had a chance to tie. The Bulldogs were able to get a quick inbound and get the ball to Ware on the right wing, but his shot bounced off the rim giving the Terriers the three-point win.

"We had a good shot. The exact shot we wanted," Fox said. "It's just sometimes the ball doesn't go in."

Ware didn't blame the timeout prior to his missed free throw from having an adverse effect.

Instead, he pointed to the fact that Georgia went just 11 of 20 from the free-throw line, combined with just 2 of 14 shooting from the 3-point line as leading directly to the team's downfall.

"No, not at all," Ware said. "I really didn't pay attention to it. I was just trying to focus. It just didn't go in."

It was that kind of night for the Bulldogs.

With just over 17 seconds left, Georgia had a chance draw even after forcing a five-second call on the Terriers trying to inbound the ball. However, the Bulldogs turned the ball right back after Trey Thompkins got tied up going for the game-tying shot.

Georgia (1-1) didn't do itself any favors getting off to a slow start.

"There was a lot of mental un-attachment early in the game. We made a lot of mental errors early that we have not made in practice," Fox said. "We have to be mature enough and gain some experience so that we can relax and stay connected mentally to what we are trying to do."

Travis Leslie led the Bulldogs with 17 points, while Thompkins had his second straight double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.

Corey Godzinger scored 13 points to lead Wofford, which was coming off a 63-60 loss at Pittsburgh Friday night.

"I have a ton of respect for what Coach Fox for what he's trying to do here and what he's going to do here," Young said. "He's laying a great foundation. We have a lot of old guys back, and we've been here before. Just the other night against Pittsburgh, we were in this same situation. I'm just thankful to get a win."

Although Wofford shot just 38.2 percent from the field for the game, the Terriers were 6-of-16 from 3-point range and made all but two of their free throws (12-of-14).

"Late in the game I thought we did a lot of things very well," Fox said. "We handled the special situations late very well. We missed a few close ones that would have tied it, but with more experience those shots will fall."

Georgia returns to action Saturday when the Bulldogs travel to Birmingham to play UAB.

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