Georgia followed up a 2-0 start in Southeastern Conference play by losing two of its past three games.
The Bulldogs will rely on their inner fight when they return to the court to face LSU on Wednesday night in Athens, Ga.
“This team is resilient,” coach Mike White said. “It’s going to continue to fight and respond. It’s a competitive team that plays with pride. We’ve seen that all year.”
White said he saw some of that resilience in his team’s 105-96 loss to then-No. 8 Kentucky last Saturday.
Georgia (13-5, 3-2 SEC) trailed by 19 points at halftime and by as many as 28 in the second half. But the Bulldogs managed to get as close nine points while shooting 60.6 percent and scoring 61 points in the second half.
“I was very surprised we dug ourselves that big of a hole,” White said, “but not surprised at the way we continued to fight.”
Georgia responded to its first SEC loss, an 85-79 home setback against Tennessee, by beating South Carolina 74-69 on the road.
Jabri Abdur-Rahim paces the Bulldogs with 13.9 points per game and shoots 42.6 percent from 3-point land. Abdur-Rahim poured in a career-high 34 points in the Kentucky game.
The Tigers (11-7, 3-2) will try to bounce back from a 73-69 home loss against Texas A&M last Saturday. LSU missed two potential tying 3-pointers in the final half-minute.
“If you’re about winning and you’re about building a team,” coach Matt McMahon said, “you learn from it and you come back in and get better and prepare for the next opportunity.”
The Tigers could go to school on how the Aggies learned from a 68-53 home loss to LSU two weeks earlier. In the first game, the Tigers had an 18-3 edge in second-chance points, and in the rematch, Texas A&M had a whopping 27-0 advantage in second-chance points, which McMahon called “obviously the difference in the game.”
“That isn’t a good representation of who we are as a team and what we do,” LSU forward Jalen Reed said of the rebounding disparity. “We’ll be back in the gym and get that all fixed up so this doesn’t happen again.”
Jordan Wright leads LSU with 15.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game.
–Field Level Media
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