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Georgia Holds On For The Win Against Murray State

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't always pretty, and the end result isn't going to wow anyone, but Georgia pulled away for a 63-52 win Friday night against visiting Murray State. More than half of Georgia's points came from the fiery fingers of Kenny Gaines, who posted a career high 35 points. Really, tonight was a story of Kenny Gaines and everyone else. Gaines was 10 of 18 from the field on the night. Everyone else in a Bulldog uniform hit 7 out of 39.

It was quite the turnaround for the guy who fouled out before the end of regulation last Friday against Chattanooga after tallying only 12 points. Gaines avoided that foul trouble, got the hot hand, and kept it when Georgia needed him the most. Trailing 50-48 with four minutes remaining, Gaines dropped three straight three pointers on three straight possessions to put it away.

It's a good thing he took over, because no one else was going to. J.J. Frazier, the leading scorer from the loss to Chattanooga, was only 1 of 10 from the field. Charles Mann was 0 for 7, literally not hitting a shot all night except for a couple of free throws. Yante Maten was a comparatively blistering 2 of 8.

On the bright side, the Fox Hounds hit 72% of their free throws (21 of 29), a real improvement from last week. Maten's 10 rebounds were a positive sign that he may become the low post player Georgia needs him to be. In the end Georgia pulled away to beat a team that's often become a tournament contender in the past few years. The Dawgs will host High Point on Wednesday night.