Wheeler

Georgia basketball player Sahvir Wheeler (2) during a game against Northeastern at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., on Tues., Dec. 22, 2020. (Photo by Chamberlain Smith)

The Georgia men’s basketball team defeated Northeastern 76-58 Tuesday at Stegeman Coliseum to move to 7-0 on the season. Here are some observations from The Red & Black:

Georgia’s comeback bid

Georgia claimed its first lead of the night off a Toumani Camara baseline jump shot with 10:15 remaining in the game. The Bulldogs turned the tide against Northeastern with a 21-0 run in the second half after trailing by double digits for a significant period.

The Huskies started the game on a 15-5 run accompanied by a hot shooting streak but were unable to regain the lead once surrendered.

Andrew Garcia was a major part of Georgia’s turnaround off the bench. Sophomore guard Sahvir Wheeler began the game guarding Northeastern’s Tyson Walker, who scored 14 points in the first half. Garcia switched onto Walker for much of the second half, allowing five points the rest of the way.

Georgia held Northeastern to just 13 points in the second half after its 45-point first-half outburst.

“I would say our intensity changed,” said forward PJ Horne in a virtual postgame press conference. “Our ability to get stops changed in the second half because our energy level changed. Once we got going, we did not back off.”

Stopping the 3-point barrage

Jahmyl Telfort’s 3-pointer at the end of the first half both summed up Northeastern’s dominant first half and proved a sign of things to come. Telfort was 4-4 from long range in the first half alone as the Huskies combined to go 9-for-13 from 3-point range in the period.

Northeastern cooled off considerably in the second half, only converting three 3-pointers on 13 attempts, a 23% clip. Walker and Telfort were a combined 1-for-3 from deep after halftime, a sharp contrast to their 6-for-8 start.

Georgia cleaned up its turnovers considerably as the game went on. Northeastern found open 3-point looks in transition at the start, but those opportunities evaporated later in the contest.

“In the beginning of the game, they were hitting shots and we turned the ball over,” Garcia said in a virtual postgame press conference. “We lost our talk but when we came in at halftime, we reminded ourselves that we are a team and we thrive on communication and our grit.”

Foul trouble

Both teams had spells of foul trouble for key players in the game. Georgia forward Toumani Camara was limited for most of the first half after being called for three fouls in the period. Walker found himself in his own foul trouble, picking up two fouls early in the second half, pushing his total to three.

Walker picked up his fourth foul with 12:41 remaining in the game as the momentum swung to Georgia. The Bulldogs cut the Huskies’ lead to three following Walker's exit to the bench.

“Getting [Walker] his fourth foul was huge...” said head coach Tom Crean in a postgame press conference. “We were already making our run when he went out, but we were able to build on it.”

Georgia was called for its sixth team foul early in the second half — all six came from Camara and Sahvir Wheeler. Head coach Tom Crean, however, elected to keep both players in the game as Georgia cut into the Northeastern lead.