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    Georgia State is going dancing for the fifth time in program history after defeating UT-Arlington, 73-64, Sunday in the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship game. It’s the first time the Panthers have repeated as Sun Belt tournament champions. With the win Georgia State clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Panthers are the No. 14 seed in the Midwest, facing third-seeded Houston at 7:20 p.m. Friday in Tulsa, Okla. The last time Georgia State was a 14th seed was in 2015, when R.J. Hunter hit a 30-foot 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds to play to stun No. 3-seed Baylor.  On Sunday, Georgia State was down eight points early in the first half, but a strong offensive spurt and solid free throw shooting helped them climb back. The Panthers tied the game at 17, but UTA stretched its lead to six with back-to-back 3s. Then Georgia State went on a 9-0 run after senior forward Jeff Thomas was fouled on a 3-point shot, making all three free throws, and sophomore guard Kane Williams converted a four-point play on the next possession. The run gave Georgia State the lead, and they never looked back. “It was big,” said Williams, who was named to the all-tournament team. “I think it was a momentum swinger, and after that I feel like we got the tide rolling.” Georgia State led 36-31 at halftime and shot 11-of-11 at the free throw line in the first half despite shooting 66 percent on the season. Much like Saturday’s win over Texas State, defense proved to be the key again for the Panthers. Georgia State held UTA scoreless for six and a half minutes of game time from the end of the first half and five minutes into the second half. In that time the Panthers pushed their lead from one to 12 before a 7-0 run by UTA cut the score to 43-38. UTA pulled within five multiple times in the second half, but they failed to come any closer than that for most of the half. Senior guard Devin Mitchell played a big part in maintaining the lead. He came off the bench in the second half and scored eight consecutive points for the Panthers. Senior forward Malik Benlevi followed Mitchell up with an 8-point run of his own as Georgia State seized control of the game leading, 64-52. UTA made it a game coming out of a timeout. The Mavericks had easy fastbreak layups and went on an 8-0 run, cutting Georgia State’s lead to 64-60 with less than two minutes to play. Junior guard Damon Wilson broke up the run with two free throws, and Williams extended the lead back to eight with another two free throws. UTA missed multiple 3s in an attempt to come back, and with 56 seconds left, junior guard D’Marcus Simonds converted a free throw to make it a 10-point game. “We weren’t the greatest free throw shooting, and I couldn’t understand it because we shoot the ball so well,” said Georgia State coach Ron Hunter. “But we have been great at the end of the game with five minutes left. With five minutes left in the game we’ve been tremendous free throw shooters. “I knew when we get it inside five we were pretty locked in at that particular time, and that’s when you have to make them.” Benlevi iced the game with two more free throws before Hunter pulled his starters to a round of applause by the Georgia State faithful who made their way to New Orleans. Benlevi finished the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds and was named the tournament’s most outstanding player after recording double-doubles in both games.
  • Georgia State’s defense smothered Texas State in a 59-46 win in the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference tournament Saturday. Georgia State opened by forcing a shot-clock violation on the first possession and didn’t allow a basket until the 16:38 mark. The Panthers held Texas State to 1-of-12 from the field until its next field goal with 6:47 left in the first half. For most of the first half Georgia State struggled on offense. Junior guard D’Marcus Simonds was not his usual self, shooting 1-of-6 from the field and received a technical foul. Senior forward Malik Benlevi picked up the slack along with senior forward Jeff Thomas, who made two 3-point shots in the first half.  Benlevi’s second 3-pointer of the game started a 16-4 run, stretching the Georgia State lead from three to 15, at 28-13. Benlevi said Texas State was hedging the ball-handler on pick-and-rolls, and it left him open on the perimeter after he set screens. He burned Texas State, making 3 of 8 from beyond the 3-point line and scoring a game-high 15 points. Benlevi had ten rebounds and finished with his third double-double of the season. By the end of the half, Georgia State led 28-15 and forced 14 turnovers. The second half opened much the same. Eric Terry scored a quick basket for Texas State, but then Georgia State’s defense clamped down and held Texas State scoreless for the next five minutes of game time. Georgia State’s offensive approach switched from the perimeter to attacking the rim and getting the ball inside. After scoring only four points in the paint, Georgia State scored 12 in the paint and attempted 20 free throws in the second half. Simonds was a big benefactor of the offensive shift. He was able to get to the free-throw line six times, converting all six, and ended the game with 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Texas State was able to get its offense going with two 3-pointers by Mason Harrell, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half. However, it was too little too late, and the Bobcats couldn’t get themselves out of the early hole. Texas State’s leading scorer Nijal Pearson was held scoreless and was 0-of-10 from the field. On the night, Texas State shot 13-of-61 (21.3 percent) from the field and committed 18 turnovers. The 46 points were a season-low for the Bobcats. Georgia State coach Ron Hunter said he and his team took the game personally. The Panthers thought they weren’t given the proper respect by either the media or other coaches in the league, and they played like they had something to prove. “They’ve got swag because we won the league and (Benlevi and Thomas) aren’t all-conference players,” Hunter said. “We don’t have anybody on all-conference but one guy. That’s why these guys have swag – we have something to prove. “As I told them, we don’t care about individual awards. All we care is who goes to the NCAA tournament and brings those banners home. That’s the swag we carry.” With the win Georgia State has a chance to repeat as Sun Belt tournament champions and win its third championship in five years. They also inched closer to clinching an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. The Panthers will play the winner of UT-Arlington and Georgia Southern at 2 p.m. Sunday. The NCAA bracket will be released at 6 p.m. Sunday. 
  • Nerves? What nerves? Trevor Lawrence didn’t play like a 19-year-old true freshman as the quarterback led Clemson to the national championship with a 44-16 victory over Alabama Monday night at Levi Stadium. The moment was not too big. After watching last year’s national semifinal from his home in Cartersville, Lawrence saw Clemson fall to Alabama in the teams’ third straight CFP meeting. There would be one more time. Lawrence said he dreamed of a chance to play in such a game. “Yeah, I mean, it was just surreal,” Lawrence said when asked if the game lived up to his lofty expectations from a year ago. “So yeah, it was even better.” Lawrence became just the second true freshman starting quarterback to win a national championship, joining Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway in 1985. Clemson won it’s second national championship in three seasons, as it also beat Alabama for the title two seasons ago. Lawrence finished completing 20 of 32 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns and was never sacked. He was 8 of 11 for 240 yards with two touchdowns on third down alone, with his receivers hauling in one impressive catch after another. “The games like this you’ve got to make big plays, and the guys that we have, they definitely did that,” Lawrence said. “You just give them a chance, and they’ll come down with it. Like I said about the O-line, same thing about the receivers and running backs and everyone else. Just amazing players and really just so proud of — it took a lot to get here, but really just proud of those guys.” Not surprisingly, Lawrence was named the offensive MVP of the national championship game. Lawrence was the top recruit in the national when he came out of Cartersville High. He broke the Georgia state records for passing yards and passing touchdowns, eclipsing the marks of Deshaun Watson, who led Clemson to the national title. Lawrence was The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Player of the Year as a junior in 2016. The starting quarterback job was not handed to Lawrence when he arrived on the Clemson campus. He played behind Kelly Bryant, whom he replaced after the fourth game of the season. Bryant has since transferred. Clemson has not looked back after coach Dabo Swinney made the move. “I mean, I think some of that stuff came after, you know, but when it happened, I’m just like, OK, I’ve got to lock in this week, take it one week at a time,” Lawrence said. “We had a conversation, but we knew — the situation was I got the opportunity to start that week, and that was really it. But I feel like just trying to take it one week at a time and really everyone on our team has done that, and that’s why we’ve been so successful this year.” In the battle of young quarterbacks, Lawrence upstaged Alabama’s Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa. Clemson will have the phenom for two more seasons before he would even be eligible for the NFL draft. For now, there is a moment to enjoy the accomplishment. “That doesn’t mean as much as being able to be a part of this team,” Lawrence said. “Really it’s true, even if we didn’t go all this way and win a national championship, this has been a team that I’ll never forget for one, and it’s just been amazing, the focus and how driven this team is has been unbelievable. Just these seniors, just taking me in, and they kind of dragged me along until I got my feet under me, and they just — they’re awesome people as well as players.”
  • NEW ORLEANS — Judging from his disposition after the Sugar Bowl, it’s not surprising that Isaac Nauta had played his last game with the Georgia Bulldogs. The junior tight end stood in the locker room and fielded reporters’ questions with his eyes blood red from crying. He was still emotional, 3o minutes after the 28-21 loss to Texas had been posted. “It’s emotional,” Nauta said. “You put a lot of time and effort and emotion into it and, you know, you look around the room at all the guys and the seniors and it’s not easy losing like that.” Isaac Nauta’s announcement from his Instagram account. He said then it’d be “a couple days” before he made a final decision on whether or not to turn pro. Right on time, Nauta made that announcement via his Instagram account on Friday afternoon. “After thinking through this decision and speaking with my family and coaches, I have decided to forego my senior season and declare for the 2019 draft,” Nauta said from his account, ijay18. “I truly feel in my heart this is the best decision for me, and I’m ready to pursue another life dream of mine, playing in the NFL.” Nauta certainly did good work at Georgia. A three-year starter for the Bulldogs, he finishes his college career with 68 catches for 902 yards and eight touchdowns. He might have been under-utilized as a receiver, following a freshman year of 29 catches with a sophomore season of nine. But he had 30 this past season and finished with a career-best 430 yards. He caught just one pass for three yards in Tuesday night’s loss to Texas. Heading into the game, Nauta hinted that it wasn’t going to be production or even money for him when it came to making his NFL decision. It was all about opportunity and timing. “How’s your body feel? How long can you do it? Is graduating and getting your degree important to you? Winning the national championship,” Nauta said two days before the Sugar Bowl “There’s so much stuff that goes into it and I think that’s what makes the decision so hard. I’ve definitely felt the weight of those questions, no doubt.” Nauta likely won’t be the only junior jumping to the NFL. Safety J.R. Reed and receivers Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley are also thought to be leaning that way. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Nauta has always thought big when it comes to his football career. A Buford native, he first distinguished himself at Georgia state high school powerhouse Buford High. But he transferred to IMG Academy in Florida to further test his athletic abilities and gain notice. It worked as Nauta left IMG as a 5-star prospect and the No. 1-rated tight end in America. He chose the Bulldogs over Alabama and dozens of other scholarship offers. Nauta considered returning to be part of a 2019 team he believes will contend for the national championship. In the end, his NFL dreams and a draft class that not brimming over with elite tight ends tipped the scales on his decision. “I’m proud to be a Georgia Bulldog,” Nauta wrote. “Being here in Athens and playing between the hedges on Saturdays has been a dream come true for me. I am forever grateful for my time at the University of Georgia.” Nauta’s departure will open up the competition at tight end for snaps next season. Freshman Luke Ford, who played a lot this past season, said he’s likely going to transfer to Illinois after this season. Junior Charlie Woerner is coming back after splitting time with Nauta and collecting 11 receptions for 145 yards this season. Freshman John FitzPatrick redshirted this past season and will be joined freshman signee Ryland Goede, a 4-star prospect out of Kennesaw. “Georgia’s going to be good for a long time and is always going to have good players,” Nauta said.         The post Georgia junior TE Isaac Nauta the first Bulldog to announce he’s entering NFL draft appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The Georgia basketball team put its foot down Tuesday night, turning back Oakland’s comeback bid in the final minutes at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs (6-4) scored an 81-69 win over the Golden Grizzlies (4-8) before a small but spirited crowd. Georgia sophomore Nicolas Claxton recorded his fourth double-double of the season, scoring 17 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, helping the Bulldogs close out the win. Rayshawn Hammonds recorded the first double-double of his career with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The Bulldogs led by as many as 17 points before Oakland rallied in the second half, cutting the lead to two points at the 4:57 mark. Coach Tom Crean watched intently from the bench down the stretch, surely recalling last Saturday night’s collapse against No. 18 Arizona State. The Bulldogs led the Sun Devils by 18 points before falling at home, 76-74.     “We’ve got to learn how to finish a team off,” Crean had said. “It’s got to get better, and we have to find a way to close.” Georgia found a way on Tuesday night thanks to Claxton’s stepped up play in the final minutes. The 6-foot-11 forward proved just as formidable guarding the rim in the clutch moments. Senior point guard William “Turtle” Jackson came out of his shell in the first half, pacing the Bulldogs with 12 points through the first 20 minutes as they took a 45-34 lead into the half. Jackson, who hadn’t scored more than seven points in a game this season, finished with 14. The senior from Athens Christian School drilled his first four attempts from beyond the arc. Jackson’s shooting helped Georgia solve Oakland’s 1-3-1 zone early on to build a 27-10 lead. The Bulldogs return to action at Georgia Tech (5-4) at noon Saturday (ESPNU). DawgNation Georgia basketball Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start Georgia can’t hold 18-point lead, falls to Arizona State Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic   Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State   The post Not this time: Georgia basketball holds off Oakland rally for 81-69 win appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs will be to pick a big win at home against No. 20 Arizona State on Saturday. Below you can find information on the game time, TV channel on how to watch the game online. Georgia enters the game with a 5-3 record, having won its last two games Georgia Basketball-Arizona State: Game time The Georgia basketball game against Arizona State tips starts at 6:00 p.m. ET.  The Bulldogs have not lost at home yet, as they enter the game against the Sun Devils with a 4-0 record at home on the season. Georgia Basketball-Arizona State: TV Channel The Georgia basketball game can be seen on SEC Network. Georgia Basketball-Arizona State: How to watch online You can watch the Georgia Basketball game using the WatchESPN app. Georgia Basketball-Arizona State: How can I listen on the Radio? The Georgia Basketball-Arizona State game can be heard on the radio on WSB 750 AM. Scott Howard and Chuck Dowdle will be calling the game on radio. Georgia Basketball projected starters *Per Georgia Sports Information G: William “Turtle” Jackson, senior G: Teshaun Hightower, sophomore F: Rayshaun Hammonds, sophomore F: Nicolas Claxton, sophomore C: Derek Ogbeide, junior Georgia Basketball-Arizona State preview This will be Georgia’s first game since Dec. 3 against Texas Southern, where the Bulldogs came away with a 92-75 win. In that game, junior guard Tyree Crump scored a career-high 25 points in the win. The Bulldogs have won their last two games since losing 91-67 to Georgia State. The Bulldogs are led by sophomores Rayshaun Hammonds and Nicolas Claxton. Hammonds is the Bulldogs’ leading scorer as he averages 14.4 points per game and  6.4 rebounds a game. Claxton meanwhile is the team’s leading rebounder as he averages 9.0 per game while also chipping in 12.5 points per game. Arizona State is led by Luguentz Dort, as the freshman from Canada is averaging 22.4 points per game. Related: Tom Crean urges Georgia fans to pack The Steg on Saturday for No. 20 Arizona State Arizona State is the first ranked non-conference opponent to play in Stegeman Coliseum since 2010. In that game, the Bulldogs came away with a 73-66 win over No. 20 Georgia Tech. Georgia did drop a game against then No. 16 Clemson earlier in the season. This will be the second time that Arizona State and Georgia have met, with the first coming back in 1989. The Bulldogs take on the Yellow Jackets next Saturday in Atlanta. But before that, Georgia hosts Oakland on Tuesday. The tip for that game is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Best stories from around DawgNation Handing out our own Georgia football awards for the 2018 season Your holiday 3-pack: Kirby the Closer, running down Bama and solving the Great 8 Debate Georgia football podcast: Some Alabama fans complain about ‘Kirby shenanigans’ in recruiting Isaiah Wilson a block of granite in Georgia Bulldogs’ offensive line 5-star Nakobe Dean breaks down Alabama and Georgia on the verge of his decision Georgia football podcast: 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood apparently likes what he’s seen from UGA’s offense DN90: Georgia football recruiting target to reveal commitment on ESPN Former Bulldog Arthur Lynch explains his incredible journey from football field to the military The post Georgia basketball-Arizona State State: Game time, TV Channel, how to watch online appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Nine months after being named Georgia’s basketball coach, Tom Crean is still campaigning hard for his new program. The Bulldogs (5-3) are getting ready to play host to Arizona State at Stegeman Coliseum, the first of a set of four tough games for the remainder of December. He knows his fledgling, young team is going to need all the help it can get against the No. 20-ranked Sun Devils (7-1), and Crean is a big believer in big crowds being a big help.           The trouble is, UGA just broke for the holiday. Fall semester exams wrapped up on Wednesday and most of the school’s 30,000 students have abandoned campus.           But that hasn’t deterred Crean. Ever the optimistic salesman, he’s stumping for a packed house for Saturday evening’s 6 p.m. tilt. “It’s important we get a sellout crowd; that’s real important to help energize us,” Crean said before the Bulldogs practiced Thursday morning. “If you beat Arizona State you’re doing something, because they’re good. They’re going to win a ton of games. They’re a legit team, if not the front-runner to win that league (Pac-12). … It’s extremely important, no doubt about it. We’re playing an outstanding team.”           That they are. The Sun Devils, who are expected to contend for the Pac-12 title this season, just lost for the first time all season and were impressive even in defeat. They led No. 6-ranked Nevada by 15 points in the first half and by 12 at halftime before finally succumbing to the Wolf Pack 72-66 in a game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. As has been the case in nearly every game this season, Arizona State was led by dynamic freshman Lugunentz Dort. The 6-foot-4 freshman guard, who averages 22 a game, had 24 against Nevada, a team many are expecting to play deep into March.           Georgia doesn’t harbor such expectations right at this minute. The Bulldogs have wilted in the face of their most intense challenges to date. They offered little resistance to 16th-ranked Clemson (64-49) and Georgia State (91-67) in the final two rounds of the Cayman Islands Classic and got down by a bunch quickly before rallying to put a scare in Temple on the road (81-77).           But those games all took place out of town. The Bulldogs are home for four of the next six, starting with the Sun Devils, and home is where the W’s reside.           While it always is and will be about the team that takes the floor, Crean believes a great atmosphere can help good teams play great.           “It’s something we’ve been addressing since March 15th,” said Crean, who is 4-0 at The Steg so far. “We’ve got to have a tremendous crowd. If we’re going to build this program to where everybody wants it to be and recruit the way everybody wants us to recruit and the way we want to recruit, the atmosphere of games has to be phenomenal. It’s not just how great the music is and how wonderful the band and the cheerleaders and the dance squads are — they are. We’ve got to have people there. We’ve got to have it loud.”           So Crean is not above creating any sort of promotion to get butts in the seats. Saturday is no exception. It’s “Tacky Christmas Sweater” Night. Fans are welcomed to wear their own tacky Christmas sweaters to the game, but the first 1,000 spectators to show up will get a free tacky Christmas sweater T-shirt.           Crean brought one of the T-shirts with him to this Thursday’s press conference to discuss the Arizona State game. “I don’t think I’ll wear one, but I like it,” he said. “Very, very creative. I’ve seen some ugly Christmas sweaters before. This one’s pretty cool.”           The gimmicks are fun, but Crean knows better than anybody his squad has to play better and beat some quality opponents to keep folks coming back. Beating a team of the ilk of Arizona State would be great first step.           To do that, Georgia’s has clean up its game. Averaging nearly 17 turnovers a game, the Bulldogs can start by taking better care of the basketball. Crean also is looking for improved offensive rebounding, better free throw shooting and less fouling.           All those traits need to be present against the Sun Devils, who are averaging 14 offensive rebounds and 29 free throws a night. Controlling Dort will, of course, be a key. A Top 30 national recruit from Montreal (who spent two years playing basketball in Florida), it was Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley who beat out several basketball powerhouses for Dort’s services.           The freshman hasn’t disappointed. Equally adept at shooting 3s or driving to the basket, Dort had a 33-point game against Utah State and has scored 24 points or more in half the Sun Devils’ game. Built like a football player, he’s an equally effective on-the-ball defender.           “He’s a solid player,” said Georgia sophomore Nicolas Claxton, who is the only SEC player to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. “We’ve game-planned for him. We know he’s going to come in here and play hard. They’ll be a strong test but we’ll be ready for them.”           It won’t be easy for the Bulldogs to be sharp. Saturday will be 12 days since their last game due to final exams. But Crean has been working them hard in practice, particularly this week as testing concluded midweek.           After consecutive days of what players characterized as “very intense” practices and scrimmages, the Bulldogs are ready to play somebody else. Their hope is that their fan base will also be ready on Saturday as well.           Georgia traditionally has drawn pretty good crowds to Stegeman for SEC play, which annually begins after the New Year. But due in part to the excitement of Crean’s hire and his boundless promotional presence, the Bulldogs already have established a school record by selling out three regular-season games before the season even started. They’ve since added two more sellouts to the ledger, giving UGA its most capacity crowds for men’s basketball since the 2002-03 season.           And Georgia is drawing pretty well early on this season. It has averaged 7,240 in the four games so far, including 9,018 for the season opener against Savannah State. That was most for a UGA home opener since Dominique Wilkins’ sophomore season in 1981.           The Bulldogs could use a good, strong representation on Saturday as well. Crean believes it can make a difference. “There’s no question (Stegeman) can be a tremendously tough place to play with 10½-thousand in there and the acoustics the way that they are,” Crean said. “We’ve just got to put people in there. There’s been a lot of tickets sold. … But if we want the level of program we want here, we’ve got to have great crowds.”           The post             WATCH: Tom Crean urges Georgia fans to pack The Steg on Saturday for No. 20 Arizona State appeared first on             DawgNation.          
  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball doesn’t take the court for another game until next Saturday, but when the Bulldogs do, you can bet junior Tyree Crump will be a focal point. Crump, a junior from Bainbridge, had a breakout game in Georgia’s 92-75 win over Texas Southern on Monday night, and more figures to be ahead for the Bulldogs’ long-distance sharpshooter. Georgia coach Tom Crean indicated Crump is precisely the sort of open floor player needed to make his uptempo game work. It didn’t take long for Crean to notice him. “I think early on when I got here you could tell there was a lot to his game that could improve,” Crean said. “There’s a lot of room for upside with him.” Crump might not have been the best fit for previous Coach Mark Fox’s deliberate style. But as much as Crean recognized Crump’s talents and abilities, Crump was immediately charged up by his new basketball coach. “He came in and he said ‘We want to play fast and we want to shoot three,’   and my eyes got big and my ears got big and I thought this is the perfect offense for me,” Crump said. “So we tried to listen to everything he said, and it’s carrying over into the season.” The Bulldogs will bring a 5-3 record into next Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game against No. 20 Arizona State in Stegeman Coliseum. The Sun Devils already have beaten one SEC team, winning at Mississippi State on Nov. 19 by a 72-67 count. Arizona State will put its perfect 7-0 record on the line on Saturday when it plays No. 6-ranked Nevada at noon. Crean indicated he’ll keep looking to get Crump free for more shots in the offense. “We want to move him, get him off screens, get him lost in the defense,” Crean said. “There becomes a comfort level that you have in a game like tonight, and he did a good job of playing through fatigue.” Crump is shooting 46.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc (18-of-39), significantly better than the next best player who has at least 10 attempts, Rayshaun Hmmonds (6-of-15). For all that Crean is trying to instill in Georgia basketball, it ultimately comes down to the time players are spending in the gym on their own to perfect their shot. It’s clear Crump is doing his work, and therefor he’ll be getting more opportunities moving forward. Here’s a look at others 3-point shooting percentage who have attempted 10 or more 3-point shots and how many minutes they average: Tyree Crump, 19.9 minutes, 18-of-39, 46.2 percent Rayshaun Hammonds, 24.5 minutes, 6-of-15, 40.0 percent Teshaun Hightower, 17.5 minutes, 7-of-25, 28.0 percent Nicolas Claxton, 27.5 minutes, 4-of-15, 26.7 percent William Jackson, 17.9 minutes, 4-of-17, 23.5 percent Georgia basketball’s Tyree Crump & Derek Ogbeide   DawgNation Georgia basketball Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State The post Georgia basketball guard Tyree Crump 3-point output leads Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean is not ready to say the Bulldogs are an NCAA Tournament team – that’s a hypothetical , but he does like the progress he’s seen. He just hasn’t seen enough from the Bulldogs (5-3) to feel comfortable talking about postseason goals at this stage of the season. “Everything has got to get better,” Crean said after the Bulldogs scored a 92-75 win over Texas Southern on Monday night in Stegeman Coliseum. “It’s a constant evaluation of what we can do better.” RELATED: Georgia basketball stays perfect at home “We’re trying to build an identity, and that’s what it takes time for a team to learn.” Crean liked the 18 assists on the Bulldogs’ 32 made baskets, “good considering we’re not a huge assist team, because there’s so much driving,” he said. But there are still plenty of things for Georgia basketball to improve on before any sort of relevant NCAA Tournament talk. “We don’t have to make the game harder than it is, and right now we make the game harder than it is,” Crean said. “We don’t do a great job communicating, and one of the things we need to do is communicate better in that zone we were in the second half. “Right now, I’m just trying to get my team better than to worry about the NCAA Tournament, that’s way down the road.” Georgia basketball Plus-Minus The Bulldogs enjoyed their biggest margin of success with Nicolas Claxton on the floor, outscoring Texas Southern by 17 with him on the floor. Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean     DawgNation Georgia basketball Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic   Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State   The post WATCH Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean: Not ready for NCAA tourney hypotheticals appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS —Georgia basketball protected their home court on Monday night, turning back upset-minded Texas Southern at Stegeman Coliseum. First-year Bulldogs coach Tom Crean kept Georgia perfect at home (4-0) with the 92-75 victory before the crowd of 6,801. Tyree Crump led the Bulldogs (5-3) with a career-high 25 points over a Tigers’ team (3-6) that beat No. 16-ranked Oregon last Monday by an 89-84 count in Eugene. Crump, a junior guard who shares the hometown of Bainbridge (Ga.) with Kirby Smart,  was 5-of-7 shooting beyond the 3-point arc, leading a Bulldogs’ season-best 11-off-22 (.500) 3-point barrage. Crump went on a 12-0 run midway through the second half as Georgia led by as many as 25 points. Bulldogs’ senior center Derek Ogbeide had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season and the 8th of his career. Sophomore Nicolas Claxton had 15 points,  nine rebounds and three blocked shots before fouling out with 2:47 remaining. Rayshaun Hammonds, UGA’s leading scorer (14.4 points per game) had 14 points and seven rebounds. It was Georgia’s first game since an 84-51 win over Kennesaw State last Tuesday, and that was very much by design. “Certainly, we weren’t going to schedule a game last (SEC football championship) weekend and it turned out to be a very smart move,” Crean said. “We left it open and we’ll do it again next year, we’ll leave that open as far as home games. “I don’t want to be coaching on a day that (Georgia football) is playing. I want to be able to watch it.“ Crean said it’s healthy for his players to watch the Bulldogs’ football team and build relationships with the players, as well. “I don’t think you can help but to get better by observing what they’re doing,” Crean said, “be around what they’re doing and being friends with those guys.” Texas Southern and Arizona State — the Bulldogs’ next opponent at 6 p.m. on Dec. 15 — were two teams Crean added to the schedule when he took the Georgia job. “Arizona State, their ranking will probably grow, they just continue to improve,” Crean said. “They’re so much deeper than they were a year ago, (and) they’re very active, they can really shoot the ball. “They’re playing without Remy Martin, he’s playing but he’s not as effective yet because of his injuries, but that will be another one that will be a tremendous atmosphere, test, challenge, on that Saturday.” DawgNation Georgia basketball Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic Georgia basketball sloppy in loss to Georgia State  Clemson too much for Georgia basketball in Cayman Classic Georgia basketball dominant in win over Illinois State Georgia gets fun-filled win over Sam Houston State   The post Georgia basketball stays perfect at home, turns back Texas Southern appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • Romance author Judith Krantz, best known for writing 'Scruples' and nine other best-selling novels, has died at age 91, multiple news outlets reported Sunday. >> Read more trending news According to The Associated Press, Krantz died of natural causes Saturday afternoon at her home in Los Angeles' Bel-Air neighborhood, said one of her sons, producer Tony Krantz. Before she published the racy 'Scruples' at age 50 in 1978, Krantz wrote for women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan, McCall's and Ladies' Home Journal. She eventually wrote 10 novels that sold more than 80 million copies around the world, CNN reported. She also published a memoir, 'Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl,' in 2001. Several of Krantz's books, including 'Scruples,' 'Princess Daisy' and 'Mistral's Daughter,' were adapted into television miniseries in the '80s and '90s. A remake of the 'Scruples' miniseries was 'still in the works' when she died, Tony Krantz told the AP. Krantz was preceded in death by her husband, producer Steve Krantz. She is survived by their two sons and two grandchildren, the AP reported. Fellow authors took to Twitter after learning of Krantz's death, calling her a 'legend.' Read more here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Police are investigating a shooting that left one person dead and two hurt in a South Fulton County apartment complex.  Channel 2’s Kristen Holloway is at the scene, where she talked to neighbors who say they heard about 12 gunshots.  The shooting happened at the Avery Park Apartments in the 2600 block of Charlestown Drive in College Park Monday. We’re at the scene talking to police about the shooting and the victims, for LIVE reports on Channel 2 Action News This Morning. BREAKING: Just got the scene of shooting at an apartment complex in College Park. Stay with @wsbtv for updates. pic.twitter.com/HE0HjejFRP — Kristen Holloway (@KHollowayWSB) June 24, 2019  
  • The search for a missing New York girl came to a sad end late Sunday when authorities found her body in Ontario's Casey Park. >> Read more trending news According to New York State Police, Zyvette Marquez-Rivera, 3, was found dead 'in a small body of water' about 11:43 p.m., nearly five hours after she was reported missing. Emergency crews, including an underwater rescue unit, responded to the park to look for the girl. The Monroe County Medical Examiners' Office will perform an autopsy on the child to determine her cause of death, authorities said. The investigation is ongoing.  If you have information about the case, call New York State Police at 585-398-4100. Read more here.
  • A New York man died unexpectedly while visiting the Dominican Republic last week, becoming the latest of at least 11 Americans who have died in the popular tourist destination since June 2018. According to Fox News, 56-year-old Vittorio Caruso, a recently retired pizzeria owner from Glen Cove, Long Island, died June 17 after he fell sick at Santo Domingo's Boca Chica Resort.  >> Read more trending news 'We found out he was brought by ambulance to the hospital in respiratory distress after drinking something,' Lisa Maria Caruso said of her brother-in-law, who had gone to the island nation alone. She said family members learned of Caruso's death via phone just minutes after officials had called to say he was sick, News 12 Long Island reported. However, Dominican Republic National Police told CNN that Caruso had begun 'receiving medical attention' six days earlier, on June 11. Caruso 'was not a sick person' and had been in good health, Lisa Maria Caruso told Fox News. A doctor said Caruso's cause of death was respiratory failure, but officials are still awaiting autopsy results, CNN reported.  Caruso's case appears to be similar to the other American deaths reported recently in the island nation. Most of the travelers died from respiratory failure, pulmonary edema and/or a heart attack, officials said. Some had taken drinks from a hotel minibar before falling ill, family members told multiple news outlets. According to CBS News, the Federal Bureau of Investigation 'is assisting Dominican authorities' as they look into the deaths. So far, investigators reportedly have not found any evidence that the incidents are connected.  'There are no mysterious deaths here,' Dominican Republic Tourism Minister Javier Garcia told Fox News. ''Mysterious' implies that things happened that science cannot explain.' Although the U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory in April urging American tourists to 'exercise increased caution in the Dominican Republic due to crime,' officials have not revised the notice to include any health warnings. In fact, the department said last week that it has 'not seen an uptick in the number of U.S. citizen deaths' in the popular vacation destination, ABC News reported. 'The overwhelming majority travel without incident,' a department spokesperson said of the 2.7 million Americans who go there each year.
  • Cardi B, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino and the late Nipsey Hussle won top honors at the 2019 BET Awards, held Sunday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. >> Read more trending news Here's the complete list of winners:  Album of the year: Cardi B, 'Invasion of Privacy' Best new artist: Lil Baby Best female hip-hop artist: Cardi B Best male hip-hop artist: Nipsey Hussle Coca-Cola viewers choice award: Ella Mai, 'Trip' Best collaboration: Travis Scott feat. Drake, 'Sicko Mode' Best international act: Burna Boy (Nigeria) Viewers' choice: Best new international act: ShoMadjozi (South Africa) Best female R&B/pop artist: Beyoncé Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars Young stars award: Marsai Martin Best group: Migos Video of the year: Childish Gambino, 'This Is America' Video director of the year: Karena Evans Best actress: Regina King Best actor: Michael B. Jordan Dr. Bobby Jones best gospel/inspirational award: Snoop Dogg feat. Rance Allen, 'Blessing Me Again' Sportsman of the year: Stephen Curry Sportswoman of the year: Serena Williams BET HER award: H.E.R., 'Hard Place' Best movie: 'BlacKkKlansman' Lifetime achievement award: Mary J. Blige Ultimate icon award: Tyler Perry Humanitarian award: Nipsey Hussle
  • Plans to develop thousands of acres of Ohio farmland to take advantage of the sun’s energy — but not for growing food — have divided area rural communities. >> Read more trending news  Solar energy development companies are seeking approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board for construction of large solar farms in the state’s rural areas. Some land owners have agreed to long-term leases with solar companies, while their neighbors who oppose the massive electric-generating facilities are hoping to stop the projects from going forward. The recent increase in solar arrays in Ohio is partially because solar power technology has improved to make it more competitive with other energy sources, according to Doug Herling, director of business development at Open Road Renewables. >> Related: Greene landowners concerned over potential solar farm “Until recently, solar did not make sense in Ohio,” Herling said. “The technology is vastly more efficient and can now compete with wind and coal. It comes down to the economy of producing power. We can’t build one of these if it’s not competitive on the power market.” Open Road Renewables has applied to install two solar arrays in Preble County. A grassroots effort is underway to try to block the projects. Among residents opposing the projects is Rachel Vonderhaar, who farms thousands of acres as a family business. Vonderhaar questions the transparency of the process, saying few people took notice of the flyer that came in the mail two weeks prior to the first public meeting. “When it comes to transparency, there’s a real problem with how the system operates,” Vonderhaar said. “Two weeks before a meeting is not enough notice for someone to figure out what their rights are, let alone to participate, to prevent an application from being submitted.” >>Trending: Cops pose as utility workers to catch distracted drivers Daniel Sawmiller, Ohio’s energy policy director for the Natural Resource Defense Council, said solar is becoming more prevalent in Ohio as coal plants are shutting down. Sawmiller, who was formerly with the Sierra Club, said he worked on the settlement with American Electric Power, which resulted in a commitment by AEP to add 900 megawatts of renewable energy sources, including 400 megawatts from solar power. Projects in Highland and Brown counties, where the local economy has been hit hard by the decline in the coal industry, are a direct result of that settlement, Sawmiller said. Sawmiller said adding solar and other renewable energy sources to the grid will ultimately result in “lower wholesale energy prices,” which leads to lower electric rates for consumers. Solar farms as big as a lake Six solar electric generation facilities have been approved in four Ohio counties, amounting to 12,573 acres, according to records on file with the Ohio Power Siting Board. By comparison, Grand Lake St. Marys is 13,500 acres across Mercer and Auglaize counties. Three proposed projects are pending approval by the OPSB, including two in Preble County that would occupy about 1,800 acres of farmland, according to records. >> Trending: 7 motorcycle riders killed in fiery crash identified; range in age from 42 to 62 The three pending applications were filed with the state in December 2018; among the approved projects, the first application was in March 2017 for approximately 1,200 acres in Vinton County, according to the records. Greene County property owners near Yellow Springs and Cedarville have also been approached about lease agreements for a solar farm there. Open Road Renewables is an Austin, Texas-based company that has applied for the two solar projects in Preble County, called Alamo and Angelina. Herling said the solar arrays proposed in Preble County would result in $1.7 million annual tax revenue, $9,000 per megawatt generated, that would benefit the county, school district and other taxing jurisdictions. ‘Animosities with neighbors’ Concerned Citizens of Preble County is a grassroots effort aimed at stopping the projects. The group of residents who live or own land near the proposed sites say they were not aware of the projects until late last year, despite representatives from Open Road Renewables beginning talks with local officials and land owners years earlier. The group has myriad concerns beyond what they said will be negative effects on the aesthetics of their farming community and their property values. Among the group is Joe DeLuca, former superintendent of Eaton schools. DeLuca said he’s always been an admirer of solar power, but it’s concerning when out-of-state companies looking to make a profit on large projects can go to the state level for approval and not worry about local opposition. >> Trending: Exonerated 5, formerly Central Park 5, bring crowd to their feet at BET Awards “The big picture for me: why would anyone want to take some of the best productive farm land in the state or anywhere and put solar panels on it to take it out of production?” DeLuca said. In Oregon, a commission for land conservation and development has implemented a temporary ban on installing solar arrays on prime farmland. Resident Marja Brandly’s home on Fairhaven College Corner Road is surrounded by hundreds of acres used for growing soy beans and corn. Brandly, who is the fifth generation to inherit the property, pointed to the horizon where one of the proposed solar arrays would be within sight. “It really has torn us apart and created animosities with neighbors, because we feel by their secrecy and not letting the rest of us know that they really set out to knife us in the back,” Brandly said. “If these same people had come to us two years ago, I would have had a lot more respect for their openness and forthrightness. Now, nobody trusts them. We don’t want them on our property … That’s how far down the relationship has descended.” Greene County next? The groundwork preparing for other potential solar farms is also happening in the state before any official applications are filed. The Dayton Daily News reported in May about farmers in Greene County who are being solicited for lease agreements by a law firm working on behalf of Australia-based Lendlease, which has plans to install solar arrays on more than a thousand acres around Yellow Springs and Cedarville. Greene County resident Mark Pinkerton said he is bothered by what he described as the sneaky way in which solar development companies are securing lease agreements. Pinkerton said he also questions the efficiencies espoused by solar array proponents after he invested in a project that wasn’t profitable in Colorado. “Certainly there needs to be some land use policies put in place. There needs to be public hearings ahead of time,” Pinkerton said. “I want people to use the land how they feel is appropriate, but those of us who have invested in the community want to protect our investment and property as well.” Cedarville resident Ryanne Rinaldi, an environmental biology and chemistry student at Grace College, said a neighbor’s field behind her family’s home is one of the areas where the solar array would be installed. She said her research has given her concerns for the toxins that are inside the solar panels, the impact to wildlife and the environment. “This will ultimately reduce our property value, and we won’t be able to either sell or enjoy the space that we live in anymore,” Rinaldi said. >> Trending: SEE: Hot air balloon crash-lands into crowd at Missouri festival Lendlease has not submitted a formal application with OPSB. Messages left with the company have not been returned. Approval, but no construction yet The OPSB technical staff has recommended approval of the Preble County projects, with conditions, according to Matt Schilling, spokesman for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. Though the power siting board has approved six projects in the state, no construction has begun on any of them, Schilling said. An evidentiary hearing is scheduled July 26 for the projects in Preble County. The Preble solar projects could come up for the state board’s consideration before the end of the year, according to Schilling. State approval is required of energy projects that produce 50 or more megawatts. By comparison, the village of Yellow Springs’ solar array sits on a little more than 6 acres and is designed to produce 1 megawatt of power. Ohio House Bill 6 has passed the Ohio House of Representatives and could come up for a Senate vote this week. If the bill becomes law, electric rates for Ohio consumers would be raised to pay for subsidies on two nuclear power plants owned by FirstEnergy Solutions as well as two coal-fired plants owned by Ohio Valley Electric Corp. >> Trending: Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak jumps into crowded Democratic primary The proposed legislation also seeks to remove existing renewable energy and energy efficiency standards established since 2008. Proponents of HB 6, including Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance, say it’s needed to keep jobs from disappearing with the closure of two nuclear power plants within the next two years. Opponents, including Americans for Prosperity, say the bill is a bailout for the company operating the nuclear power plants, First Energy Solutions, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year.