Georgia rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to defeat the Ole Miss Rebels 69-64 for their third-straight conference win. Like most of the recent meetings between these two teams, Tuesday's matchup at Stegeman Coliseum was a close one throughout.
Neither team was able to get the upper hand early. About midway through the first half, Ole Miss started to find a rhythm behind the good play of forward Sebastian Saiz and Stefan Moody. The Rebels opened up a 29-21 lead with 1:17 remaining in the half. Georgia was able to cut into the deficit and trailed 31-25 at the break.
The Bulldogs came out quickly in the second half and quickly erased the deficit. A jump shot from Marcus Thornton with 15 minutes remaining put Georgia back in front 40-39. As the Bulldogs would pull ahead, the Rebels would answer back to stay within striking distance. A pair of Moody free throws cut Georgia's lead to a single point at 61-60 with 1:56 remaining.
Georgia had struggled at the free throw line for much of the game and that was a huge concern coming down the stretch. However, the Bulldogs converted eight of their last 10 attempts in the final 1:39 of the game to seal the victory.
Thornton overcame some late foul trouble and led Georgia with 16 points. Charles Mann finished with 12 points and seven rebounds while J.J. Frazier and Djurisic added 11 points each. Frazier hit a pair of huge three-pointers to give the Bulldogs a bit of a cushion coming down the stretch. Georgia wins despite an off night from Kenny Gaines who finished with just five points on 1-7 shooting. Georgia converted 21-31 free throw attempts for the game but were clutch late and that was difference.
Georgia did a great job defensively holding Ole Miss to just 39 percent shooting. Moody carried the Rebels offensively with 26 points but was the only Ole Miss player in double figures.
The Bulldogs improve to 12-5 overall and 3-2 in the SEC. Ole Miss falls to 11-7 overall and 2-3 in the conference. Georgia is back in action on Saturday afternoon with a road matchup at Mississippi State.