Georgia did a good job of pushing aside a disappointing performance that took some of the shine off its strong start to the season when it throttled in-state rival Georgia Tech, and gets another chance for an impressive nonconference victory when it hosts Temple on Friday. The Bulldogs were upended last Saturday at UMass in arguably their poorest performance of the season, but put away Georgia Tech with a dominant second half and another stellar showing from forward Yante Maten.
The senior scored 24 points and helped jump-start a 13-3 run to open the second half of an 80-59 victory, displaying a balanced attack that has led to eight victories in 10 games. “We have guys who are playing off Yante and getting their own shot because Yante draws so much attention,” Georgia coach Mark Fox told the media afterward. The Owls also have enjoyed plenty of success in nonconference play, picking up victories over Auburn, Clemson and Wisconsin. Temple beat Drexel 63-60 on Saturday after losing to top-ranked Villanova on Dec. 13.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, SEC Network
ABOUT TEMPLE (7-3): Senior forward Obi Enechionyia came through down the stretch against Drexel, making two free throws and then blocking his fifth shot of the game in the final seconds. Guard Quinton Rose leads the Owls in scoring at 17 points per game, while guard Shizz Alston Jr. is fourth in the nation in free-throw shooting at 96.7 percent. Temple is extremely disciplined, ranking 11th in the country for fewest fouls per game (14.9) and 16th in fewest turnovers per contest (10.9).
ABOUT GEORGIA (8-2): Maten, who hit 9-of-13 shots from the field and pulled down six rebounds against Georgia Tech, is averaging 19.2 points and nine rebounds per contest. The combination of forwards Derek Ogbeide and freshman Rayshaun Hammonds continues to develop. One flaw is taking care of the basketball, as Georgia committed 16 turnovers Tuesday and is 322nd in the nation in turnover margin (-3.1).
1. Georgia limits opponents to 39.5 percent shooting from the field, 45th in the nation, and held Georgia Tech to 25 percent shooting in the second half Tuesday.
2. The Bulldogs were efficient on offense Tuesday, getting 3-point baskets from seven players and assists from nine players.
3. Temple’s bench scored 19 of the team’s 38 first-half points Saturday.
PREDICTION: Georgia 68, Temple 64