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Georgia holds on to down Winthrop 87-82

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Fox’s Hoop Hounds seemed destined for a while tonight to give back all the good will gained in recent victories over St. Mary’s and Marquette. Despite jumping out to an early 17-5 lead the Bulldogs allowed the fiesty Winthrop Eagles to claw back into contention, trailing the visitors with six minutes to go.

But in the end Georgia had just enough in the tank to pull away, downing the visitors 87-82 in Stegeman Coliseum. Winthrop got an outstanding performance from do-everything wing Xavier Cook, who finished the night with 31 points on 11 of 24 shooting. Yante Maten led all Bulldog scorers with 25 points, and also snagged 11 rebounds to tally a double double.

Repeating a pattern we’ve seen over and over when Georgia has struggled, the Bulldogs gave away 16 turnovers to Winthrop’s 8. That’s a great way to make a game closer than it needs to be. Against a better team, it might have been enough to put one in the "L" column.

As frustrating as it was for Georgia to struggle with a team like 5-4 Winthrop, it’s worth remembering that Mark Fox’s team (7-1 on the young season) has lost a frustrating number of games like this one over the past couple of seasons. Sometimes you just have to find a way to win. The ‘Dawgs, thanks to some timely shooting, managed to do just that.

Georgia will now take a break for exams before returning to action on December 16th against UMass.