White mug

White: Georgia needs a second-half solution

It was that kind of night again for Georgia.

The Bulldogs fell 68-56 to Georgia Tech at Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday, marking the team’s fourth loss in as many games and the third in a row coming after leading at halftime.

It’s become something of a trend for Georgia to allow teams back into the game or even to take over in the second half.

Colorado did it with an 11-0 run to start the final period en route to a 70-68 victory on Nov. 28.

A few days later against Cincinnati at home, Georgia suffered through a seven-minute scoring drought that allowed the Bearcats to take a 57-51 victory.

And on Wednesday, Georgia held a 29-25 halftime lead largely behind a 16-point first half by Gerald Robinson Jr. It was by no means much of an advantage, but it was the biggest the Bulldogs would get after the break.

Georgia players couldn’t put their finger on a common thread that connects the collapses, but the end result has been the same.

“We didn’t come out in the second half, and I think it’s just us needing to get ready to come out and play hard,” Georgia freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said.

“We haven’t had the mindset that we need to come out and just play as hard.”

Georgia Tech opened the second period on Wednesday with early runs of six and eight points to give the Yellow Jackets the distance they needed to hold on. Even when Georgia found a spark with 3s from Dustin Ware and Connor Nolte, Georgia Tech used eight points from Jason Morris to keep its lead from thinning all the while shooting 65 percent on field-goal attempts.

“We started the second half very poorly,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “We don’t play defense well away from our bench, and we started the second half very poorly and gave up our lead very quickly, and we just never could get it back.”

There is, however, a bright side to some of this, or at least something a little less troublesome for Georgia. The streak comes at the tail end of what is arguably the most difficult stretch of the Bulldogs’ schedule, and Georgia now has until a Dec. 17 trip to Southern Cal to shake off whatever has ailed it.

“The good thing is we have a break right now that gives us a chance to regroup,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We can come back, work hard and get ready for the next game.”

With more than a week off, a cross-country trip and games against Mercer, Furman, Winthrop and Delaware State lined up before the start of Southeastern Conference play, there is plenty of opportunity for the Bulldogs to find the right pieces, put them in place and keep them there through the second half.

“Yeah, we’re frustrated, but we’re a resilient team,” Georgia’s Dustin Ware said. “We’re going to keep working and trying to get better.”

Follow marcweiszer

marcweiszer

On further review, Richt actually said Todd Gurley is “about 90, 95 percent,” healthy. Now needs to get in top condition.

8 hours ago