Georgia seeks clean finish to nonconference play vs. Northeastern

NCAA

Georgia will try to build on its unbeaten start when it hosts Northeastern on Tuesday in Athens.

The Bulldogs are 6-0 after Saturday’s win, which matches the team’s best start since the 1982-83 season. That team, which started 9-0, advanced the NCAA Final Four.

“Our mentality can’t be about winning streaks, but getting on a one-game winning streak,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said. “As corny as that sounds, that’s how you’ve got to train your brain.”

Northeastern (1-3) has lost two in a row, falling in close contests against Old Dominion and Syracuse.

The two teams have met only once time, with Georgia winning 79-66 in 1981.

Georgia is coming off an impressive 83-68 win over Cincinnati. The Bulldogs used a 15-0 spurt just before halftime to distance themselves from the Bearcats.

“I’m just proud of the way we competed,” Crean said. “Our guys responded. They competed at a high level. It wasn’t us matching their energy and toughness, we brought our own energy and toughness. That’s the biggest thing.”

The Bulldogs have benefitted from balanced scoring, with five players averaging double figures. Toumani Camara, who had a career-high 19 points against Cincinnati, leads the team with 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Others who average in double-digits are Sahvir Wheeler (14.3 points and team-leading 50 assists), Justin Kier (13.0 points) and Tye Fagan (11.5 points, 6.3 rebounds). Andrew Garcia comes off the bench to add 9.8 points.

Northeastern couldn’t overcome a slow start — it started the game 0-for-13 from the field — in the loss to Old Dominion on Sunday. Shaquille Walters had 17 points to help the Huskies tie the game late before losing 66-62. Tyson Walker returned to the lineup against Old Dominion after missing the second half of the Syracuse game with an injury and had a career-high eight assists.

Walker leads the team in scoring (16.5 points) and steals (2.8); he went for 29 and 20 points in the two games against UMass to open the season. Jahmyl Telfort averages 13.3 points off the bench and Jason Strong averages 10.8 points. Walters averages 9.8 points and 7.3 rebounds.

“We’ve just got to keep growing,” Northeastern coach Bill Coen said. “Each time we get on the court we learn more about ourselves, get a little more experience. We’re playing a lot of freshmen, lot of guys who don’t have much experience, and they’re learning on the fly.”

This is the final scheduled nonconference games for each team before they begin conference play, although Northeastern is searching for an additional opponent. The Huskies open play in the Colonial Athletic Association on Jan. 2 with a two-game series against Elon. Georgia opens Southeastern Conference competition on Dec. 30 against Mississippi State.

–Field Level Media

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