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NCAAB: Georgia seeks bounce-back win over Virginia

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Georgia looks to avoid a second straight loss to an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent when the Bulldogs face the Virginia Cavaliers on Monday night at the Legends Classic in Newark, N.J.

Georgia (2-2) fell 88-78 at home to rival Georgia Tech on Friday night as Virginia (2-2) was coasting to a 68-52 win against visiting Coppin State.

The winner between the Bulldogs and Cavaliers will advance to Tuesday night’s tournament championship against Providence or Northwestern, while the losers will meet in the third-place game.

Georgia made a late run to get within 73-71 against the Yellow Jackets, but Michael Devoe answered with eight of his 37 points during a 14-3 spurt to put the Bulldogs away.

Georgia, like UVA, has alternated wins and losses through the first four games. Gonzaga transfer Aaron Cook leads three Bulldogs who are scoring in double figures with 15.0 points and 7.8 assists per game. Illinois-Chicago transfer Braelen Bridges averages 14.3 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds. Florida Atlantic transfer Jailyn Ingram averages 10.3 points and 5.3 boards.

The Bulldogs shot 50.9 percent from the field and 47.1 percent (8 of 17) from 3-point range against Georgia Tech but they struggled at the free-throw line (12 of 24).

“We had numerous chances,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said. “We overcame deficits, we came back, but we missed free throws tonight at crucial times. So we got a lot of learning to do.”

Virginia never faced a deficit against Coppin State, jumping out to a 16-2 lead as the Eagles missed 11 of their first 12 field-goal attempts.

East Carolina transfer Jayden Gardner led the Cavaliers with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Kihei Clark scored 12, Igor Milicic Jr. added 11 and Kadin Shedrick finished with 10 points, 10 boards and three blocks.

It was a breakout performance for Milicic, a 6-foot-10 freshman from Croatia.

“It’s a big adjustment, coming from Europe to here,” Milicic said after Friday’s win. “The game is different, the pace is different, the physicality is different. Much higher, obviously.”

Virginia and Georgia have not met since the Cavaliers’ 87-54 victory on Dec. 24, 1987, at the Chaminade Christmas Classic in Hawaii.

–Field Level Media

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