Visiting Georgia will have its hands full with No. 25 Auburn

Visiting Georgia will have its hands full with No. 25 Auburn

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 victory over visiting South Carolina on Saturday. Auburn (16-5, 6-2) dropped its second straight game that day with an 80-77 setback at West Virginia in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

Kario Oquendo scored all eight of the Bulldogs’ points in overtime to earn Georgia’s first win over the Gamecocks in the teams’ last 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 be contagious too. 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 having a chance to end a significant streak. It was a big win for us,” said Georgia coach Mike White, whose team is on a season-high three-game losing streak ended “I thought we played the last 15 minutes of the game – I don’t know if we could have played any harder.”

Terry Roberts is averaging 15.4 points, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game for the Bulldogs, while Oquendo is averaging 13.1 points and 3.3 rebounds. Jabri Abdur-Rahim and Braelen Bridges average 7.3 points each.

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 KD 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 fight back in the second half, but the last four minutes we didn’t get the defensive stops that we got throughout the second half.”

Green, who is averaging 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 is averaging 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 Saturday.

Auburn was one of the best teams in the country when playing at home.

The Tigers had won their last 28 games at Neville Arena dating back to February 23, 2021, prior to a 79-63 loss to visiting Texas A&M this past Wednesday.

Georgia opened its SEC schedule by visiting Auburn in the second half for a 76-64 victory 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.

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