Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dribble Dawgs Lose At The Buzzer


Tennessee grabbed a rebound and put up a second-chance lay-in that made it just under the wire and the Georgia men’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaker with under a second left, falling 59-57 to the visiting Volunteers Tuesday night in Stegeman Coliseum.

With the score knotted at 57 apiece and Tennessee holding with the shot clock unplugged, Tobias Harris let loose on a three from the corner with two seconds left and Brian Williams corralled the rebound and put up the follow with less than one tick on the clock, giving the Vols the two-point lead, 59-57, as time expired. The officials had to consult the replay to determine if Williams got the shot off in time, and it was ultimately ruled the game-winner.

Georgia falls to 13-4 (2-2) with the loss, while Tennessee improves to 12-6 with the same 2-2 conference record.

Georgia’s leading scorers on the day were Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson each with 14 points, while Trey Thompkins had 13. UT’s Harris and Scotty Hopson each had 15 to lead the way for the Vols.

“That was a difficult loss,” said head coach Mark Fox. “Tennessee made more plays than we did. They made one more, for sure. There are going to be a lot of battles in this league. We just didn’t make enough plays tonight, plain and simple.”

“We knew they were going to take the last shot. The shot clock is off and as we have been taught to do, you defend, force a miss and secure the rebound. We did everything including blocking out. We just didn’t secure the rebound.”

The back-and-forth contest saw 11 lead changes in addition to nine ties, the last of which was at 57-57 with just 59 seconds left after Georgia’s Dustin Ware sank a game-tying three that brought the Stegeman crowd of 10,523 to its feet. But that would be the Dawgs’ final attempt as the Vols were able to work for the last shot on their final possession.

Neither team was able to build a lead larger than seven all night, with Georgia up by that margin with 7:56 to go in the first half and Tennessee taking its largest lead of five with 1:30 to go in the first. The margin was no greater than four all second half.

After UT took a 35-33 lead into the locker room at the break, Georgia immediately tied it with a lay-up for Thompkins in the first minute of the second frame. Tennessee would lead by four, 47-43, with 7:58 to play in the second half, before Leslie slammed home a dunk and added a lay-up on consecutive UGA possessions. The junior then hit a free throw to round out his personal 5-0 run and push Georgia back in front, 48-47, with 6:44 on the clock.

The ballgame was locked for the eighth time, 50-50, before the Vols dashed back in front by two on a tip-in for Tobias with 4:52 left. Georgia’s Sherrard Brantley drained a three with just 3:03 to go that give the Dawgs a one-point lead, 54-53, but Josh Bone answered with a jumper and Williams hit a lay-up with 1:31 to play that gave Tennessee a three-point lead, 57-54. That set up the Ware three to tie, but it was countered by Williams’ late-game heroics as UT used every last second in earning the two-point road win.

Tennessee now leads the all-time series between the SEC rivals by a 91-52 count, but Georgia still holds a 34-33 edge at home.

Tonight began Georgia’s three-game home-stand as the team will remain in Athens to take on Mississippi State on Saturday, January 22 at 4 p.m. on the SEC Network. The Dawgs are then home again next Tuesday, January 25, to tackle Florida for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN.

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