ATHENS, Ga. – For the fifth-straight year, The Georgia Bulldogs ousted in-state rival the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 82-78, in a packed Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday night.
This win ties the second-longest winning steak over Georgia Tech for the third time in school history. Georgia last won five-straight over the Yellow Jackets in a span from 1939-41.
For the first time since J.J. Frazier in 2017, junior Rayshaun Hammonds recorded back-to-back 25 point games. Hammonds tallied 26 points, while grabbing a team-high nine rebounds and two steals. This marks the 36th double-digit game of his career and fourth 20-point game over his three years.
Three other Bulldogs ended the night in double digits, including freshman Anthony Edwards (18), graduate transfer Donnell Gresham Jr. (13) and senior Tyree Crump (11). Edwards has surpassed the double-digit point mark in three of his first four games, while Crump has accomplished the feat in all four games this season.
Nine different Bulldogs scored, while as many as eleven different Bulldogs recorded at least one board. As a team, the Bulldogs won the rebounding battle, 43-37. Points from the line played a significant role in the Georgia victory with the Bulldogs outshooting the Yellow Jackets, 73 percent to 52 percent.
“We didn’t score for five minutes, but we never panicked,” Georgia Head Coach Tom Crean said. “That’s important because sometimes, what happens when you’re not scoring, is you’re not as locked in and you’re giving up baskets. But we weren’t down very many [points].
I think what happens in these situations is you try to correct what we were doing wrong, especially defensively. The bottom line is we kept coming. We were turning it over some, but we weren’t trying to hit home runs, which is really important. When you’re trying to get back in it by hitting home runs, plays that aren’t there, now you’ve got something to worry about.
When you’re playing good, efficient, offensive basketball, you know at some point it’s going to go for you, and that’s what happened.”
Both teams remained scoreless through three minutes of play until Georgia Tech drained a three-pointer. For the second-straight game, Hammonds scored a majority of Georgia’s opening points, accounting for nine of the Bulldogs’ first 10.
Hammonds got Georgia going offensively after five minutes of play. He also gave Georgia its first lead of the game, 8-5, with a shot from behind the arc with 13 minutes remaining. After almost 10 minutes of back-and-forth play, the Yellow Jackets gained the largest advantage of the half, eight, after a two-minute scoring drought from Georgia to lead 20-12.
Another clutch three-point shot from Hammonds knotted the game 22-all with 6:17 remaining. The shot put Hammonds in the double-digits for the third game in a row. For the second time in the opening period, a basket from Hammonds propelled Georgia ahead of Georgia Tech, 26-25.
In the closing minutes, Georgia forced Georgia Tech into a four-lminute scoring drought. That, coupled with the Bulldogs’ 11-0 run over 2:53 and 14-3 surge over 4:06, sent them into the half leading, 35-27.
Georgia continued to dominate offensively out of the locker room. The Bulldogs grabbed their first double-digit lead of the game, 37-27, off yet another basket from Hammonds.
After going four-of-five from the field, including layups from Hammonds and Crump and a pair of three-pointers from Crump and Hammonds, Georgia obtained the largest lead of the game, 16.
The Yellow Jackets responded by going six-of-eight and forcing a 2:37 scoring drought for the Bulldogs to get within single-digits (9).
Edwards, entering into double-digit points, scored in the paint to regain the Georgia double-digit lead.
A 7-0 run over 1:20 and a 12-2 run over 3:57 solidified Georgia’s lead, tying the largest advantage of the game at 16. Despite Georgia Tech able to get within single-digits late in the game, the Bulldogs outlasted the Yellow Jackets to seal the 82-78victory.
Up next, Georgia departs for Maui to make its first-ever appearance in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs will open the tournament against Dayton on Monday, Nov. 25, at 9:30 a.m. HT/2:30 p.m. ET. The contest will be televised on ESPN2.