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David Edole

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Claxton helps Georgia Wins with deflections - Nov 17, 2018

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The University of Georgia men's basketball team won its second consecutive game at home with a victory over the Sam Houston State Bearkats 75-64 in Stegeman Coliseum on Friday night.

Nicolas Claxton (211-SF-99) finished second in points and led in rebounds with eight on the night. Georgia also shot 76 percent from the free throw line comparing 29-of-38 to Sam Houston State's 5-of-7.

Claxton had the first points of the night with a pair of free throws and a layup, the first of 10 Bulldogs to score in the opening half. The lead changed six times in the half including three times in the last 10 minutes. Georgia (3-1) claimed its largest lead of the half with 27 seconds remaining, a 38-32 margin, from a freshman Tye Fagan 3-pointer. The Bulldogs entered intermission with the score at 38-33.

Coming back to the court, the Bearkats (2-3) went on a seven-point run to take the edge from Georgia. After each team traded the lead back and forth, the Bulldogs used an 11-point run to gain the lead 61-55, which Georgia kept for the rest of the game. Five Claxton points, a pair of free throws from junior Tyree Crump and a senior E'Torrion Wilridge layup forced a Sam Houston State timeout. After the timeout, the production continued: Claxton claimed the defensive rebound and found Hammonds down the court for the dunk.

At the 13-second mark, a layup from Fagan gave Georgia a 13-point advantage, the largest of the night, over the Bearkats 74-61. Sam Houston State sank a three to quell the margin to 11 but it was not enough to influence the 75-64 Georgia victory.

Georgia Head Coach Tom Crean

On Nicolas Claxton...
"We had 48 deflections in one game and 43 in another. Deflections aren't a governed stat in NCAA or NBA basketball, but to me a deflection is not only a steal or a blocked shot, it's you get a tip, you draw a charge. I tip it, Chuck grabs it, that's 2 deflections. Those are the type of things. We had 53 tonight. Our goal was 50. I only had 4 other players, and all four played in the NBA, who have ever had more than 18 deflections, and Nicolas Claxton had 18 deflections tonight...18 deflections, 29 minutes, 1 turnover, 8 rebounds, 13 points, and played a lot of point guard for us tonight. That's the kind of stuff we have to have."

Sophomore Forward Nicolas Claxton
On playing with foul trouble in the second half…
"Coach Crean, he believes in playing players with 2 fouls, so I knew I had to play smart in the second half especially because I know my team needs me out there on the court. So I had to play smart and aggressive, smart and aggressive"

On what Crean said for defense in second half…
"Our fans helped us out big time, they were behind 100% us the whole game. In moments we kinda dipped, they picked us up and then we just came together as one."

On Sam Houston State…
"They played a great game, especially in the first half they were extremely active on the offensive board, and we knew in the second half we were gonna have to put a body on people and it wasn't gonna be easy. Of course, we respect them 100% and didn't take them lightly. We got the job done."

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