Georgia had a clear size advantage over Belmont up front. What the Bruins lacked in height it made up for with perimeter shooting.
The Bruins shot 47 percent from behind the 3-point line to defeat Georgia 78-69 in the first round of the NIT. Belmont (23-6 overall) caught fire especially in the second half, making six of its first nine 3-ball attempts.
For Georgia (19-15), the loss ends its season one game short of a fourth consecutive 20-win season.
The Bulldogs entered the game shorthanded as forward Yante Maten was unable to play due to a knee injury that will be re-evaluated. Guard Juwan Parker tore his right Achilles and will see a consultant in the coming days.
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Without Maten and Parker available, Georgia was unable to make up for the scoring production lost. J.J. Frazier scored 29 points, with Tyree Crump and Turtle Jackson adding 10 points apiece.
Leading 37-34, Belmont forward Dylan Windler kick-started the Bruins with back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second half. From there, Belmont continued to roll with the outside shot and led 63-50 with 9:54 left to go in the game.
Belmont forward Evan Bradds helped balance the offensive attack with 15 points inside, with the 6-foot-7 and 205-pound forward working mostly against bigger defenders in Derek Ogbeide and Mike Edwards.
With 1:09 to play in the game, head coach Mark Fox pulled Frazier out of the game. The senior, who hugged Fox after returning to the bench, received a standing ovation as the fans began to chant “Thank you J.J.”