Georgia will look to maintain the momentum from its biggest win of the season when it hosts Chattanooga on Wednesday in Athens, Ga.
The Bulldogs (8-3) are coming off a 77-62 win over Notre Dame in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event in Atlanta on Sunday.
Chattanooga (8-4) had its six-game winning streak snapped with an 83-79 overtime loss to visiting Belmont that day.
Georgia already has surpassed its win total from last year and is off to a strong start under first-year coach Mike White, who arrived after leading Florida for seven seasons. He replaced Tom Crean, who was let go after the Bulldogs went 6-26 last season.
After Notre Dame pulled to 58-55 with 7:43 remaining, the Bulldogs countered with an 11-0 run capped by Braelen Bridges’ jumper for a 69-55 lead they wouldn’t relinquish with 4:25 remaining.
Bridges and Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe were perfect from the field while combining for 33 points. Bridges went 9 of 9 from the field and finished with 18 points and six rebounds, while Moncrieffe added 15 points on 6-for-6 shooting from the field and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line to go with four rebounds and two assists.
Jabri Abdur-Rahim chipped in 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Terry Roberts posted 10 points and five assists.
“This is by far the best that we have played (this season),” White said. “Our preparation has been really good. We had some days off where we could focus on academics, but most importantly we had 14 guys healthy for the first time since practice started. We got contributions from everyone who stepped out there, whether it was offensively or defensively.”
Chattanooga’s Jake Stephens has carried the Mocs this year by averaging team highs in points (22.5), rebounds (10.5), assists (3.3) and blocks (2.5), but his best effort was wasted on Sunday.
Stephens recorded the program’s first 30-point, 20-rebound game with 32 points and 20 rebounds, in addition to adding five assists, five blocks and three steals in an 83-79 loss to the Bruins.
The Mocs led Belmont 76-72 with 2:40 left in overtime before the Bruins countered with a 9-1 run to secure the win.
Jamal Johnson added 14 points and four rebounds, while Dalvin White finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Mocs.
Chattanooga finished with 18 turnovers, twice as many as Belmont.
“We’ve won a couple games, and I literally looked them in the eyes and said we can’t maintain this and win games,” Chattanooga coach Dan Earl said. “We can’t keep having 18, 19 turnovers and put that much pressure on shot-making. They’re trying; they’re not trying to turn the ball over. It’s just valuing the ball.”
–Field Level Media