Auburn-Georgia men @ SECs
I'm again seated alongside Press-Register magnate Neal McCready, who would like to say: "Hello." He's wordy.
Birmingham News ace Charles Goldberg is to my right. It's intimidating to be sandwiched by two superstars like these two. Apologies to Pokey Chatman.
GEORGIA 80, AUBURN 65
(Season ends for the Tigers)
KEYS TO THE GAME
Auburn had 21 turnovers. Bad.
Rasheem Barrett: 2 for 13. Bad.
Georgia C Takais Brown: 19 points and 13 rebounds. Good.
Auburn responded poorly to UGA's zone defense. As if they had never seen a zone defense, in fact.
UGA, 67-56 (4:53, 2nd): I'm going to work on my story now. This one is over. More badness from the Tigers. Everything has to work smoothly for this team to win, and it's sooooo not moving along smoothly right now. I'll re-cap things before I leave the Georgia Dome. Have a nice evening.
UGA, 60-45 (10:35, 2nd): Eh. I'm still watching. Doesn't look like Auburn will stop UGA long enough to accomplish anything positive. So this oughta do it. Only 10 minutes left in the Tigers' season. If you're going to strike out, and it's pretty clear Auburn is doing that, then go ahead and take some swings.
UGA, 55-41 (12:50, 2nd): I'm about to give up on the blog and start writing my story for Friday's newspaper. I'll give it three more minutes. Gaines just took an elbow to the head while going for a rebound. He looks dazed. If he's out, maybe Auburn can gain some ground here. UGA still is scoring on the tips and put-backs.
UGA, 51-36 (15:37, 2nd): Not going well for Auburn. They quit rebounding. UGA has three second-chance baskets this half. Also, Lebo drew a technical earlier. It was weird because Lebo didn't really say much afterward. Coaches often fly off the handle immediately after a technical call, perhaps in an effort to make the team feel like The Man is sticking it to them. Not Lebo. He just stood there, muted, with one of those weird looks of his. I don't get it.
IMPORTANT STATISTICAL TRENDS:
Auburn is shooting 50%, but has taken only 26 shots. UGA is 44%, but has taken 34 shots.
Auburn has 12 turnovers. UGA has 6.
Both teams have 17 rebounds.
UGA G Levi Stukes scored 14 early points. He finished the half with 14.
UGA, 41-31 (halftime): Auburn cut the deficit to four points, then watched Georgia score five points almost immediately. The problem here is Georgia PG Sundiata Gaines is playing at a high level, passing flawlessly and drawing fouls. He has 8 assists already. Auburn must find someone to annoy him. Reed has three fouls. Coach Jeff Lebo was playing Miaway, a defensive player, earlier in the game. Until UGA's ball distribution gets interrupted, UGA won't stop scoring.
UGA, 33-23 (3:52, 1st): Auburn is playing sloppily on offense right now ... already has 10 turnovers. Barrett keeps shooting and hitting nothing. Prowell and Barber have two fouls apiece. It's a bad situation for the Tigers right now. F Josh Dollard is playing. He has 7 points and 9 rebounds right now.
UGA, 29-23 (7:59, 1st): Lewis is off the floor in favor of ... G Archie Miaway? Weird substitutions. Gs DeWayne Reed and Rasheem Barrett don't look ready to play. F Quan Prowell sure does. He's max assertive right now, which is surprising. He's usually not that kind of player. Auburn is getting the inside baskets when it's patient with the ball rotations. They need to stick with that until UGA adjusts. I don't think UGA will.
UGA, 25-19 (10:12, 1st): G Kelvin Lewis is a liability tonight. Also, Auburn might want to start guarding G Levi Stukes. He's already 4 of 6 from three-point range. 14 points.
AU, 13-10 (15:16, 1st): Auburn totally owned UGA early with some full-court traps. AU led by seven points early. Then the Bulldogs adjusted. The teams still are jittery. They ususally are in this atmosphere.