The Georgia men’s basketball team adjusted its departure plans to fly to Arkansas for tonight’s game due to wintry conditions there.
The temperature of the Bulldogs was the bigger concern to Georgia coach Mark Fox after they were left steaming about the turn of events in an 84-74 overtime loss at Ole Miss on Saturday when calls went against them in the final few minutes of regulation.
“I’m concerned about the mindframe of our team,” Fox said Wednesday. “They’ve been a pretty resilient bunch, but they obviously were very frustrated the other night.”
Georgia was in position to earn its fourth straight road win. It led 64-61 with 2:57 left when Kenny Gaines was called for a technical for swinging an elbow above the shoulders of Ole Miss’ Marshall Henderson, who was closely defending the Bulldogs’ freshman guard with the ball near midcourt. Officials did not initially make a call but reviewed the play during a timeout after Henderson went down with what many Georgia fans viewed as a phantom fall.
Henderson sank two free throws and Ole Miss kept possession. Gaines was whistled for fouling Henderson on a 3-pointer seven seconds later, fouling out of the game with a career-high 13 points. Henderson made three more to put Ole Miss up 66-64, but the game was tied at 70 when Georgia had a chance to win with 0.6 seconds left.
Georgia made an inbounds alley-oop pass to Donte’ Williams, but his shot didn’t go down. There appeared to be contact on the shot, but no call was made, forcing overtime, where the Rebels took control.
“We’re going to have to get over the other night,” Fox said. “That’s part of life. We have to get over it. We’ve got to move on. We’ve got to get ready to play again.”
Fox said he had “some dialogue” this week with Gerald Boudreaux, the Southeastern Conference’s director of officials, about plays he wanted reviewed.
“Standard procedure in that situation is you ask for review of certain things, which we obviously did and have done at other times,” Fox said. “Our league’s terrific about their role in the whole thing. I’m sure they’ll handle it very professionally and we’ll all move on.”
The SEC did not make Boudreaux available to speak on the game, but spokesman Craig Pinkerton said via email: “The SEC does not comment on specific officiating situations or conversations with our member institutions regarding officiating. The SEC reviews all of our games and schools often file reports with the conference office regarding officiating and those reports are all a part of the continual evaluation process.”
The loss dropped Georgia (12-13, 6-6 SEC) to eighth place in the SEC, a game behind Arkansas (16-9, 7-5).
Before the game in Oxford, the Bulldogs won their previous three road games at Texas A&M, South Carolina and Tennessee.
“We played extremely well the last four road games,” Fox said. “Are we going to play another one extremely well? I hope so. We’re going to play a very, very good team who’s been just terrific at home, so we’ve got a big challenge in front of us.”
Arkansas is 15-1 at home, with its only loss to then-No. 6 Syracuse, 91-82, on Nov. 30.
Georgia’s players — who were unavailable for interviews Wednesday due to the changed travel plans — got Sunday and Monday off as was planned this week.
On his Monday night radio show, Fox said of the Ole Miss game: “I’m still amazed at what happened and a little bit in disbelief, but we’ve got to move on and go back to work.”
He added: “I’m angry. I think I’m angry. Experiences like that can really galvanize your team.”
On Wednesday, he said: “What I’ve told our team is that you really have a choice: You can be a team that has done, since Day 1 here, that fights forward, or you can be a team that something happened to. And I don’t want to be a team that something happened to. Let’s saddle up and move on.”
Georgia at Arkansas
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Ark.
Radio: WRFC 960-AM.
Records: Georgia is 12-13, 6-6 SEC; Arkansas is 16-9, 7-5 SEC.
Season at a glance: Georgia has dropped two in a row after winning five straight. The Bulldogs lost for the first time in four road games on Saturday night at Ole Miss. The Rebels’ prevailed 84-74 in overtime, but the Bulldogs were frustrated by calls that went against them in the final minutes of regulation. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 19, and the Bulldogs outrebounded Ole Miss 45-30. Arkansas has won four of its last five, including a 73-71 win at home against Missouri on Saturday. The Razorbacks are 6-0 in SEC play at home and 1-5 on the road.
Probable starting lineups: Georgia: G Vincent Williams (6-0, 165, Sr., 5.1 ppg, 2.3 apg); G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (6-5, 205, So., 17.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg ); F: Brandon Morris (6-7, 205, Fr., 4.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg); F Donte’ Williams (6-9, 225, Jr., 5.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg); C John Florveus (6-11, 240, Sr., 2.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg). Arkansas: G Mardracus Wade (6-2, 176, Jr., 6.7 ppg. 1.4 rpg); G Rickey Scott (6-3, 205, Jr., 4.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg); G BJ Young (6-3, 180, So., 16.5 ppg, 3.9 apg); F Coty Clarke (6-7, 225, Jr, 6.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg.); F Marshawn Powell (6-7, 240, Jr., 15.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg).
Series record: Arkansas leads 16-13, but the Bulldogs have won three in a row. Arkansas leads 6-3 in Fayetteville.
Last meeting: Georgia won last season’s only meeting 81-59 in Athens on Feb. 8, 2012. Gerald Robinson scored a career-high 27 points for the Bulldogs and Caldwell-Pope had 18.
Noteworthy: The Razorbacks are second in the SEC in scoring at 76.0 points per game. Georgia is 13th at 59.6. “Tempo is going to be important in this game,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson told reporters on Wednesday. “Push the uptempo against a Georgia team that likes to play the kind of medium tempo, playing power basketball.” … Anderson is 34-23 in his second year at Arkansas. … Georgia’s 30 personal fouls against Ole Miss were its most since Jan, 28, 2006 against Auburn. … Vincent Williams had a career-high seven assists in the game. … Arkansas is second in the nation with a turnover margin of plus-6.6. The Razorbacks are forcing 18 turnovers per game. … Caldwell-Pope and Young are 2-3 in the SEC in scoring. …Powell is third in the league in field goal percentage at 52.3 percent and Caldwell-Pope is sixth at 45.3.