Saturday, December 18, 2010

Dribble Dawgs Win


Trey Thompkins scored 15 points and Travis Leslie added 14 as Georgia (7-2) opened a big second-half lead but had to hold off Arkansas State (3-7) late to post a 68-59 victory over the Red Wolves here Saturday.

The Dawgs, playing their first game in 11 days, sputtered at first before opening a 9-point lead by halftime. They blew the game open with a 10-1 spurt to begin the second half. Thompkins contributed four points during the run, which ended on a Gerald Robinson layup with 16:59 left that pushed Georgia head 46-28.

Georgia kept its large lead until the final minutes, when Arkansas State used some hot outside shooting to trim its deficit. A 3-pointer by Donald Boone got the Red Wolves within 10 at 63-53 with 3:44 left. Brandon Peterson’s layup on their next possession pulled ASU within nine at 64-55. Boone’s long trey at the 1:34 mark got Arkansas State its closest margin at 66-59.

The Red Wolves, led by former LSU coach John Brady, had one possession to draw closer but couldn’t capitalize on a Jeremy Price turnover. Boone missed his final 3-point attempt and Price stripped Malcolm Kirkland of the rebound. Dustin Ware was fouled and sealed the victory by making two free throws with 25 seconds left.

“We have to give Arkansas State credit for battling their way back,” coach Mark Fox said. “I don’t think we played the full 40 minutes well, but we did play well enough to leave here today with our seventh win.”

The 15 points recorded by Thompkins pushed him past the 1,000-point mark for his career. He became the 40th player in UGA history to reach the milestone.

Georgia’s real hero on this day, however, was reserve forward Chris Barnes. The senior contributed 12 points in 24 minutes off the bench, even sentencing his coach to some punishment for his free-throw accuracy. A 50 percent foul shooter on the season, Barnes made good on a bet with Fox, who agreed to run the Sanford Stadium steps if his player ever made both ends of a 2-shot foul opportunity.

“He (Fox) just told me that he’s going to have to go run them now,” Barnes said. “I’ll be out there to watch him. I haven’t forgotten.”

Georgia returns to action Tuesday night when it plays host to High Point at 7:00 p.m.

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