After a pair of steep challenges to open the season, Georgia will settle into a meeting at home Sunday against North Carolina Central.
The Bulldogs (1-1) opened their schedule with an 81-72 defeat to Oregon on a neutral court Wednesday at Las Vegas. On Friday, they played their home opener and earned a hard-fought 80-77 victory over Wake Forest.
Noah Thompson scored 21 points for the Bulldogs in the win, while Jabri Abdur-Rahim added 17 points. A late defensive stand sealed it as Georgia survived multiple 3-point attempts from Wake Forest to walk away with their first victory.
“It’s huge,” said Abdur-Rahim, a senior guard who delivered the 21st double-digit scoring game of his college career. “I mean, we didn’t want to go 0-2 and we didn’t want to lose in front of our fans. Beating a team like that shows how good we can be. We knew how good we were, we just had to put it on display for everyone else to see.”
Just how challenging has the early schedule been for Georgia? The Bulldogs are the only power conference team to open the season with consecutive power conference opponents.
The victory didn’t come about until Georgia put together a 17-4 run in the second half for a 66-54 lead.
North Carolina Central will not have any sympathy for Georgia when it comes to a challenging early schedule. The Eagles (1-1) played at No. 1 Kansas in their season opener and dropped a 99-56 decision.
N.C. Central’s defense had its hands full as Kansas shot 69.6 percent from the floor — the Jayhawks’ highest in a game since January 1997.
Fred Cleveland Jr., who led North Carolina Central in scoring last season, had just six points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field at Kansas but rebounded with 11 points on 5 of 9 from the field in an easy 107-54 victory over Virginia-Lynchburg on Thursday.
Po’Boigh King had 26 points against Virginia-Lynchburg to follow his 10-point performance vs. Kansas.
“I just thought we shared the basketball,” said North Carolina Central head coach LeVelle Moton after his team had 26 assists Thursday. “It’s one thing to get the basketball but just to share it, to keep it moving. … But we have a ways to go. Fundamentally, we’re not sound.”
–Field Level Media