Georgia Basketball: The Bulldogs Get Back on Track in SEC Play

Will BrownContributor IFebruary 5, 2011

AP Photo/David Manning
AP Photo/David Manning

After losing tough back-to-back games against Florida and Kentucky, Georgia’s (16-6, 5-4) tournament chances were starting to slide. They put themselves back in great position with their play this week though, so things are looking back up for Georgia fans.

Georgia managed to defeat the Arkansas Razorbacks (14-7, 4-4), 60-59, with a Trey Thompkin free throw with 1.4 seconds left in the game. The game was even tougher for Georgia because of all the traveling troubles to get there, but pulling out the win was very important for them.

Dustin Ware played an all-around great game against the Razorbacks, scoring nine points, six rebounds and also adding five assists. Travis Leslie had his first poor scoring performance in SEC play by only scoring seven points, but did well with getting five rebounds and a few assists.

Georgia, then almost gave up a win against Auburn (8-16, 1-8) earlier today. Leading 67-65 with about 10 seconds left to play, a Jeremy Price in-bounds pass was intercepted and immediately put back in to tie the game up. Georgia outscored the Tigers 14-5 in overtime en route to a 81-72 win.

Price was the biggest key player against the Tigers going for an astounding 22 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. Price was helped out greatly by Travis Leslie, who rebounded well from his performance against Arkansas to score 20 points with eight rebounds and three assists. The Bulldogs as a team blocked eight shots.

The two wins put Georgia back over .500 in SEC play and greatly increases their chances to make the NCAA tournament. Beating Auburn in particular kept them from having a “bad” loss on their resume, and shows that they can continue to win close games.

Georgia heads into this week’s games against the Xavier Musketeers (16-6, 8-1 in Atlantic 10) and South Carolina Gamecocks (13-8, 4-4). A win over both teams would put Georgia in to almost automatic territory, giving them 18 wins with six games left to play.

The Xavier game gives Georgia a break in SEC play, but it won’t be an easy win at all as the Musketeers are rolling at this point. The Gamecocks have been struggling a bit of late, but it will be a tough game for the Bulldogs nonetheless.

This week was at least a great rebounding effort after the losses to the Gators and Wildcats and puts them back into contending position in the SEC East.

This week is just as, if not more, important for the rest of the year. The Bulldogs need to get some rest off the Arkansas traveling disaster, but they should have plenty of time for that.