//Georgia MBB Opens with Win over West Georgia

Georgia MBB Opens with Win over West Georgia

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ATHENS — The University of Georgia men’s basketball team used nearly 100 points to defeat West Georgia 98-59 in an exhibition game at Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday night.

Junior Tyree Crump led the night in points (18) coming from six 3-pointers. Freshman Nicolas Claxton followed with 14 of his own and led the team in steals (4).

Freshman Teshaun Hightower and sophomore Rayshaun Hammonds also scored 10 points apiece. The underclassmen accounted for more than half of the points scored, 54, by Georgia.

“I thought they took some really tough shots, but we defended them,” said Georgia head coach Tom Crean. “We have to get so much better guarding the dribble, talking on defense, and all the things that make a team successful, we just got to continue to improve at that. We got some more players to evaluate based on this game and based on the UAB game. Now we’re going to get ourselves ready to go next week.”

Within the first four minutes, the Bulldogs’ 6-0 run featured four points and a block from Claxton. The Georgia sophomores continued the early point production with two free throws from Hammonds and a 3-pointer rom Hightower. A three from Crump gave Georgia its first double-digit lead, 12-1, which was not relinquished for the remainder of the game.

Starting at the 11:27 mark, 13 unanswered points were spread between freshmen Ignas Sargiūnas and Tye Fagan and sophomores Claxton and Hammonds. Within three minutes of being on the court, freshman Amanze Ngumenzi racked up six points: a fast break dunk, a 3-pointer, and a free throw for the 41-15 margin with 3:29 remaining.

Georgia extended the lead to as many as 27 points in the first frame, using points from 11 different Bulldogs. Georgia headed into halftime with the 44-22 advantage.

Coming back to the court Georgia opened the half with eight points featuring two dunks from senior Derek Ogbeide. Crump’s fourth 3-pointer of the half increased the Georgia advantage to 41 points, solidifying the 98-59 victory.

The Bulldogs’ sealed a 20-plus point lead from the 12th minute of the first half through the rest of the game and secured a 30-point plus lead from the 11th minute of the second half on.

All 15 Bulldogs logged minutes, and 12 contributed to the overall total. Georgia held West Georgia to a 22-percent clip from field goal range as well as nine-percent from the arc.

Senior Mike Edwards and Ogbeide also both scored nine points during the contest, and junior Jordan Harris led in steals with three.

Georgia’s first regular-season game is set for Friday, Nov. 9, against Savannah State at 8:30 p.m. The evening will feature a Georgia Basketball doubleheader, with the Lady Bulldogs hosting St. Bonaventure at 6 p.m. ET.