Georgia basketball wrestled NCAA Tournament team Providence for 40 minutes but could not land a knockout blow in a 71-64 loss on Sunday.
The Bulldogs (2-3) went toe-to-toe with the Friars (4-1), who are regular competitors in March Madness. UGA fell behind for good with 3:17 remaining in a back-and-forth battle that saw 14 lead changes.
Leading scorer Noah Thomasson nailed a floater to take Georgia’s final lead, a 58-57 advantage, at the 4:08 mark. The Friars responded with consecutive 3-pointers to secure the lead it took to the final buzzer.
The Bulldogs continued to apply pressure through the final minutes. Thomasson led the Bulldogs back within a single possession and had a chance to tie the game at the free throw line with 48 seconds remaining.
Thomasson could only pull UGA within one point, though, and the Bulldogs failed to score again. The Friars sealed the win from the free throw line, where they shot 12 of 14 on the day.
“That’s as hard as this Georgia team has played this season,” UGA coach Mike White said. “I loved our effort, just struggled to score down the stretch. They just collected consecutive stops down there when they needed to.”
Thomasson put together another impressive offensive performance despite the slow finish. The Niagara transfer totaled 19 points, 5 rebounds and an assist in the loss.
Thomasson’s 21-point outburst against Wake Forest on Nov. 10 is the highest scoring total by a Bulldog this season.
UGA finished 0-2 in the Baha Mar Hoops Championship in Nassau after falling 79-68 to No. 12 Miami on Friday.
Indeed, the Bulldogs have seen an abnormal amount of high major competition for the first five games of a schedule. Georgia’s three losses have all come at the hands of 2023 NCAA Tournament teams.
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