Georgia looks to end a season-high four-game losing streak when it visits reeling South Carolina to conclude the regular season on Saturday in Columbia, S.C.
The Bulldogs (16-14, 6-11 Southeastern Conference) have dropped seven of their past nine and 10 of their past 13 following a 77-67 loss to visiting Florida on Tuesday.
South Carolina (10-20, 3-14) lost for the third straight game and for the 12th time in its past 14 contests with a 74-68 setback at Mississippi State on Tuesday.
Georgia and South Carolina are guaranteed to finish in the league’s bottom four, meaning they — along with Ole Miss and LSU — will all play in the first round of the SEC tournament on Wednesday in Nashville.
The Bulldogs fell apart down the stretch to lose to the Gators for the eighth consecutive meeting.
After Florida took a 52-41 lead with 12:51 left, Georgia went on a 14-5 run to pull to within 57-55 following Justin Hill’s two free throws with 7:19 to go.
But the Gators put the game away by countering with a 15-6 run to push their lead to 72-61 advantage with 2:16 left.
“Ultimately, we just could not quite get over that hump,” Georgia coach Mike White said. “You can’t pinpoint it, whether it was 3-pointers or layups or free throws, it was all of it.”
Kario Oquendo, who averages 13.2 points per game, scored 20 points for Georgia.
South Carolina also couldn’t complete its comeback Tuesday.
The Gamecocks rallied from an eight-point deficit early in the second half to take a 57-53 lead on Josh Gray’s layup with 8:20 left. But the Bulldogs put the game away with a 13-4 surge for a 66-61 advantage with 3:51 to go.
Gregory “GG” Jackson II, who averages a team-high 15.3 points per game, had 22 points and eight boards.
“This team can play, if we stick to what we do well and we compete, physically, this team can play,” South Carolina coach Lamont Paris said. “And if we make shots, and we’ve had some days where we really made shots, we can beat a lot of people, so we’ll just have to get back to the drawing board.”
In the previous meeting on Jan. 28, the Bulldogs ended a 12-game losing streak to the Gamecocks dating to March 2016 with an 81-78 overtime win.
–Field Level Media