The visiting Georgia Bulldogs look to defeat No. 25 Auburn for the second time in less than a month on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs (14-7, 4-4 SEC) are coming off an 81-78 overtime win over visiting South Carolina on Saturday. Auburn (16-5, 6-2) dropped its second straight game with an 80-77 setback at West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge that day.
Kario Oquendo scored all eight of Bulldogs’ points in overtime to pull out Georgia’s first win over the Gamecocks in the teams’ past 13 meetings.
“Our guys believe in each other. We keep each other motivated no matter what happens” said Georgia guard Mardrez McBride, who scored a team-high 17 points against the Gamecocks. “Losing can be contagious but winning can also be contagious. It feels good to get back in the win column and, hopefully, keep going.”
The Bulldogs overcame a 10-point deficit in the final 6:31 of regulation to beat South Carolina for the first time since the SEC tournament in March 2016.
“We talked about the fact we have the chance to end a significant streak. It was a big win for us,” said Georgia coach Mike White, whose team ended a season-high three-game losing streak. “I thought we played the last 15 minutes of the game — I don’t know if we could’ve played any harder.”
Terry Roberts averages a team-high 15.4 points, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game for the Bulldogs, while Oquendo averages 13.1 points and 3.3 rebounds. Jabri Abdur-Rahim and Braelen Bridges average 7.3 points apiece.
Auburn’s comeback bid against the Mountaineers fell short.
The Tigers cut West Virginia’s 17-point lead early in the second half to 68-67 on K.D. Johnson’s layup with 3:59 to play. But Auburn couldn’t make the final push, as Wendell Green Jr.’s 3-pointer from the right wing fell short as time expired.
“Disappointing loss,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “We worked pretty hard to battle back in the second half, but the last four minutes we didn’t get the defensive stops that we had gotten throughout the second half.”
Green, who averages a team-leading 13.6 points, 4.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game, had nine points on 2-of-10 shooting against the Mountaineers.
Johni Broome, who averages 13.4 points and a team-high 8.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, scored all 15 of his points in the second half against West Virginia to go along with a team-high seven rebounds.
Jaylin Williams, who averages 11.1 points per game, had a team-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting on Saturday.
Auburn has been one of the best teams in the country when playing at home.
The Tigers had won their past 28 games at Neville Arena dating to Feb. 23, 2021, before a 79-63 loss to visiting Texas A&M this past Wednesday.
Georgia opened its SEC schedule by holding off visiting Auburn in the second half for a 76-64 win on Jan. 4 in Athens, Ga.
Roberts scored a game-high 26 points and Oquendo added 17 for the Bulldogs.
Auburn was led by Broome, who had 22 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, with Allen Flanigan chipping in 11 points and three rebounds.
–Field Level Media