ATHENS — Georgia’s 22-point rally fell just short as the Bulldogs lost to Louisiana Tech, 79-71, Saturday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum in the second round of the NIT.
Georgia (20-14) was led by J.J. Frazier, who scored 15 points. Marcus Thornton and Charles Mann each had six rebounds.
Georgia outscored Louisiana Tech (29-7) by 11 points in the second half but couldn’t overcome a 19-point halftime deficit. The host Bulldogs trailed by as many as 26 points in the first half.
“Obviously we had a terrible start and dug such a big hole that we just couldn’t get all the way out of it,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “I thought we made a lot of mental errors in the first half. Those were very costly because Louisiana Tech has a good team, and good teams make you pay for mistakes. I thought we could still win the game at the half. We get (the deficit) back to (six points), but we have no timeouts to manage the end of the game. We just got outplayed and didn’t play well enough at the start to have a chance of winning at the end.”
Georgia made multiple runs in the second half to pull to within two possessions. With four minutes left, Georgia pulled to within seven points off of a Thornton free throw. After Tech extended its lead back to double digits, Georgia went on a 10-3 run to pull within six points and have possession, before Louisiana Tech’s Kenyon McNeail stole the ball from Frazier as he drove to the basket.
With 30 seconds remaining, Georgia made one final push, getting to within four points with a Frazier 3-pointer, but Georgia wouldn’t make another shot, and Louisiana Tech converted on a pair of free throws to secure the win.
Georgia ends the 2013-14 campaign with a 20-14 record. Donte’ Williams was the lone senior on this year’s squad.