Georgia came out and played stronger in the second half, but it wasn't until Mark Fox got T'ed up for what appeared to be coaching about 2 minutes in that the Dawgs got their spark. SLU took their lead to 44-30 on the shots, but the Dawgs began chipping away, going on a 13-0 run over the next 10 minutes with scrappy defense coupled with solid ball movement to get within one.
SLU wasn't quite ready to go away and pulled back away by as many as five before Travis Leslie ignited the Georgia bench with a breakaway windmill dunk to get to within two. At this point, Mrs. Bulldoginexile said "We've got them right where we want them." How right she was.
Georgia took their first lead at the 40 second mark, then yielded a mid-range jumper to Jordair Jett to tie it with 22 secs left. Georgia ran their last possession offense to perfection, getting a solid look at the basket by Gerald Robinson with plenty of help underneath. Robinson fed Price with a perfect no look pass. Price was there for the layup with one second left.
Georgia wins 61-59.
A couple of observations:
- Chaifetz Arena is a nice place to watch hoops. It looked to seat a shade under 10k and ended up 3/4 full. Even then, it was pretty loud and felt like the fans were pretty close to the action.
- They served beer (Budweiser products, of course) in the arena. That substantially upset the lawyer in my wife, who took the time to look up the NCAA regs on alcohol. Apparently, there are no direct prohibitions, but the NCAA 'strongly encourages' member schools to prohibit sales and open promotion of drinking.
- Speaking of, the pep band and cheer leaders did something I thought was a very cool, but further enraged the lawyer in the wife. They played a choreographed rendition, on the floor during the last media timeout, of "Here Comes the King," Budweiser's well known jingle/polka while the signs and video screens in the arena had pictures of the various Bud products on them. The student section joined in with "When you say Budweiser, you've said it all!"
- The students were engaged and pretty funny with their chants. They stood the whole game (mad props) and stayed in the players and few fans' ears the whole game.
- However, to the one kid that kept yelling at me to 'sit down, old man,' I'd expect more from someone who's step-dad is paying 40K a year for college. I told him so, much to the delight of the students in his section. I've heard better from Florida fans that are in their fifth year at Santa Fe Community College. Weak sauce, dude.
- Great job coaching up the team by Fox. The technical, if it was intentional, was a terrific spark. He had the right personnel groupings going at the right times and managed the game very well.
- I talked to Cindy Fox after the game. She looked like a kid on Christmas morn. She also was happy/relieved for her husband.
- Special thanks to the Ticket Whisperer's mom, who helped us with tickets. We were in the players' family section and sat right behind the bench. Awesome.