Georgia wants better ball control when it hosts South Carolina State

NCAA Basketball

Georgia is focused on rebounding from a loss to Cincinnati when it hosts South Carolina State in a nonconference game on Tuesday in Athens, Ga.

The Bulldogs (1-1) trailed by 15 points midway through the second half on Saturday against the host Bearcats before pulling to within 70-67 with 23.1 seconds left. But the Bearcats secured the win at the free throw line.

Georgia was led by Braelen Bridges, who scored a game-high 24 points on 11-for-15 shooting to go along with a game-high eight rebounds, while Aaron Cook added 10 points and a game-high 10 assists.

The Bulldogs, who also got 13 points and four assists from Jailyn Ingram, shot 48.1 percent from the floor, including 50 percent (7-for-14) from beyond the arc.

But the Bulldogs’ undoing was the inability to take care of the ball. Georgia committed 13 turnovers that the Bearcats turned into 19 points. Georgia was also outrebounded 40-31.

Georgia coach Tom Crean said the Bulldogs are headed in the right direction.

“People are going to like this team,” Crean told reporters following the loss to Cincinnati. “There is a humility about them. There’s a hunger about them. There is definitely a maturity about them. They work extremely hard, and they didn’t flinch on their first road game in a tough environment like this.”

Under first-year head coach Tony Madlock, South Carolina State (0-4) opened the season by playing four games in five days, capped by a 93-81 loss to visiting Lipscomb on Saturday.

South Carolina State is led by Cam Jones and Edward Oliver-Hampton.

Jones has led the team in scoring in every game and in assists three times. He’s averaging a team-high 16.3 points and 2.5 assists per game to go along with 4.3 rebounds. Oliver-Hampton, who has led the team in rebounding the past three games after Jones led the squad in the season-opening loss to East Carolina, is averaging a team-best 8.5 boards per game.

South Carolina State also has four other players who are averaging at least eight points per game — Dequan Williams (9 ppg, 6.5 rpg), Antonio Madlock (9 ppg), Rakeim Gary (8.5 ppg) and Jemel Davis (8 ppg).

–Field Level Media

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