Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dawgs Beat The Cats


The Georgia men’s basketball team won its SEC-best ninth straight contest Saturday evening, defeating No. 10 Kentucky by a score of 77-70 before a season-high 10,523 inside Stegeman Coliseum. The Dawgs shot a sizzling 30-of-34 from the free throw line and four players scored in double digits, led by Trey Thompkins’ game-high 25.

The win was the Dawgs’ second over a top-10 opponent in the past two seasons as the Dogs beat then-No. 8 Tennessee Jan. 23, 2010. The current nine-game winning streak is Georgia’s longest since the Final Four team did so to start the 1982-83 season.

The Dawgs kick off the SEC slate with the victory to improve to 12-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Kentucky drops to 12-3 (0-1).

“That is what college basketball is all about,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We had two good teams playing hard, really battling it out. It was a tough league game with a great atmosphere and that is what it’s all about. It’s a great win for our program. We beat a very good basketball team and I’m proud of our team and really thank all the fans who came out. They were such an important part of the win.”

Georgia led the visiting Wildcats by 11 at the intermission, sparked by Thompkins’ 14 first-half points. After leading by just two, 28-26, with 7:02 to go in the first, Georgia rattled off an 11-2 run to take an 11-point lead, 39-28, with 1:03 left. Kentucky’s Darius Miller cut it back to single digits at nine on a short jumper. But Gerald Robinson pushed it back to 11 with a pair of late free throws to send Georgia into the locker room up 41-30.

The Wildcats started the second half off on a tear, including an 11-0 run that tied the ballgame at 47-47 with 12:32 remaining in the second half. The game was tied for the eighth time, this time at 58-58, with 7:07 on the clock after a UK steal and a jumper for Brandon Knight. But Georgia would pull away again, and a Thompkins jumper with 2:40 to play put the Dawgs up seven, 66-59.

The Wildcats were forced to take their chances with fouls, and the Dawgs made them count as they did all evening, going a combined 10-for-10 in the last two minutes from the line. Georgia guarded a 13-point lead, its largest of the game, up 77-64 with 50 seconds on the clock before UK rattled off six late points to crawl to within seven, 77-70, as time expired.

Behind Thompkins’ 25 points, Georgia got 17 from Robinson, 15 from Travis Leslie, and 10 from Dustin Ware. Jeremy Price grabbed 10 rebounds and was 11-for-12 from the free throw line to lead Georgia to 88 percent shooting there.

Terrence Jones was the Wildcats’ leading scorer with 24 points while Doron Lamb had 18. Georgia led in the rebound battle, 41-37.

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