UGA Bulldogs shock Missouri (and the rest of the world)

UGA Bulldogs shock Missouri (and the rest of the world)
January 9, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Mark Fox couldn't watch.

His team had just ended the longest home winning streak in the nation with a 70-64 overtime victory over the No. 21 Missouri Tigers, but Georgia's head coach was sitting on the bench, head in his hands and emotions left in plain sight.

Fox, of course, had lost his father on Saturday. He attended a memorial service held for Raymond Lewis Fox in Kansas on Tuesday before meeting the team in Columbia, Mo., the following day. The pain was likely still fresh. But the Bulldogs (7-6, 1-0 SEC) helped lift their coach's spirits in amazing fashion on Wednesday night by playing an inspired brand of basketball in Mizzou Arena.

The team that had struggled rebounding all season outrebounded the Tigers 43-34. The team that couldn't play defense limited Mizzou to 22 of 56 from the field. The team that had folded in the second half earlier this season, trailing by as many as five points in the second half and again in overtime, battled back to topple a ranked conference opponent at on its home court.

The head coach summed it up perfectly.

"I'm really proud of our team. I've been critical of the defense, their rebounding, and their toughness and tonight those three things won it for us," Fox said.

UGA received some impressive performances on the offensive end, as well. Charles Mann led the way with 18 points, followed closely by Nemanja Djurisic, who put up 16 including four 3-pointers. Brandon Morris also had himself a fine game, scoring 10 and grabbing seven boards.

None of this is to say Georgia did not have its struggles. Shooting 50 percent from the free-throw line, especially on the road, is not a good look and could have easily lost this game. But in a season where little has gone right for the Bulldogs, almost everything went right at Missouri in what was a massive win for both Fox and the program.

All of a sudden, Saturday's home game against Alabama doesn't seem so daunting.