Bulldogs disgusted with play vs. Auburn

Mark Fox is disappointed after every game Georgia loses. But he was more disgusted than usual after Saturday’s 69-68 loss to Auburn.

And there was much about which to be upset. The Bulldogs simply played poorly on offense and defense. Fox said at least a half-dozen times “give Auburn credit,” but he could not feign how much he felt Georgia let a win get away.

“We just got exactly what we deserved,” Fox said in his postgame news conference. “We let them shoot 50-plus percent in the second half. We had a lead and didn’t close the game. We gave up a free-throw rebound and then fouled the guy. We left the best shooter in the league (Auburn’s K.T. Harrell) wide open. And we didn’t finish it. It’s disappointing, but give Auburn credit for out-playing us.”

Georgia’s three players who came in for postgame interviews — Kenny Gaines, Charles Mann and Cameron Forte, were forlorn and borderline angry.

“We just didn’t play well,” said Mann, who finished with 14 points. “We didn’t play hard enough. We didn’t want to win.”

Said Gaines: “It’s pretty upsetting when you lose one at home to any team. I was really just upset with myself because I played poorly defensively the last two minutes. I just sat down and reflected on that.”

Asked what the Bulldogs could take out of Saturday’s game, Gaines shook his head.

“When I leave here, I’m going to try not to think about this game,” he said. “It’s over with, nothing I can do about it, what I did right and did wrong. We’ve just got to focus on Tuesday and make sure we take care of business then.”

Long-range misses: The Bulldogs have a reputation for being a good 3-point shooting team. They entered Saturday's game ranked third in the SEC behind Vanderbilt and Arkansas, shooting 35.3 percent from behind the arc. But Georgia hasn't been good lately, and it is becoming a trend for the Bulldogs to lose when their spotty from long range.

The Bulldogs’ 21.1 percent 3-point shooting on 4-of-19 attempts against Auburn on Saturday was the third-worst effort of the season. They were 2-for-12 (.167) in the loss to LSU and 3-for-17 (.176) in the loss to South Carolina. Georgia also shot 22.2 percent from long range in losing to Ole Miss and were able to overcome a 6-for-24 performance to win against Texas A&M on Wednesday.

Sophomore guard J.J. Frazier has been in a particularly bad slump. He’s missed his past five attempts and is 7-for-24 (29 percent) since going 7-for-7 and scoring 37 points in a win over Mississippi State on Jan. 24.

Gamecocks up next: The Bulldogs (16-7, 7-5) play host to South Carolina at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Gamecocks (12-12, 3-9) lost to No. 1 Kentucky 77-43 on Saturday at Rupp Arena. They beat the Bulldogs 67-50 in Columbia on Jan. 31.