It was the first game this season that Mitchell did not record a double-double, ending his streak at nine games.
Big scorers for Bulldogs. Often slipping free from defenders and hitting from the perimeter, Georgia forward Yante Maten carried the Bulldogs with 11 points in the first half, on his way to 17 points. Slippery guard J.J. Frazier took the baton in the second half, scoring 22 of his 35 points after halftime.
Georgia repeatedly burned Tech on ball screens set for Frazier, whose quickness and hot shooting exploited Jackets players playing extended minutes because of the team’s foul trouble. He was 6-for-9 from 3-point range and was 11-for-12 from the free-throw line.
Sub-standard defense for Jackets. A game after playing one of its better defensive games of the season, Tech offered one of its poorest. Georgia beat Tech down the floor for easy transition baskets. In the half court, the Jackets misplayed screens, lost 50-50 balls and couldn't stay in front of Frazier.
After holding VCU to 32.4 percent shooting from the field Tuesday, Tech allowed the Bulldogs to shoot 49 percent, which was the second highest rate for a Tech opponent this season.
“We were a step slow a little bit in everything,” Gregory said.
Tech was off its game. The Jackets didn't handle the challenges well. As the Bulldogs built momentum and the Stegeman crowd threw its support behind Georgia, Tech players grew frustrated, both with themselves and each other. Tech has played one other true road game this season, against Tulane, but that was in front of 2,005 and the Jackets led for most of it.
“Adversity hit during the game, and we tried to stick together, but just certain things kept hitting us, hitting us and you see people putting their heads down,” Georges-Hunt said.
Tech played in front of an announced 8,011 Saturday and didn’t respond to the challenge of Frazier’s hot shooting and its foul trouble. Tech was still in it (barely) late, down seven with 1:44 remaining, but then turned the ball over on its next three possessions.
“We weren’t as crisp and sharp as you need to be when you’re on the road, there’s no doubt about that,” Gregory said.
All that said … Losing to the Bulldogs is always a bitter experience, but it doesn't discount wins over Tennessee and VCU, nor does it keep Tech from finishing the non-conference portion of the season strong. There will be no shortage of teaching points from the loss; it will be up to players to absorb the lessons and not render the trip to Athens a complete waste.
“It was one game,” Gregory said. “You’ve got to take a little (grief) for a day or, maybe if you see Georgia fans at the mall, more than a day. But we’ve been able to feel pretty good the last four years, so maybe it’s time we take a little, but then go on with the season.”