Georgia 60, South Carolina 56
Trey Thompkins scored 16 points and had nine rebounds as Georgia
held on for a 60-56 win over South Carolina on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (17-7, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) nearly blew a
23-point lead. But Thompkins blocked Bruce Ellington’s 3-pointer to
tie with six seconds left to hang on.
Georgia stays in second place in the SEC East and has won three
league road games this season, the most since 2003. The win also
improves the Bulldogs’ NCAA resume – they have yet to lose a game
to a team they are supposed to beat this season.
The Gamecocks (13-10, 4-6) scored just nine points in the first
half, shattering their previous low of 13 for a half in SEC play.
But they ended a game on a 32-13 run to nearly pull this one
Sam Muldrow had four blocks, setting a career record at South
Carolina with 251 blocks. He also scored 13 points, all in the
Georgia’s six SEC wins eclipses last year’s total. South
Carolina is heading the other direction. After starting SEC play
3-1, the Gamecocks have lost four of five.
The Gamecocks made just 4-of-28 shots in the first half, but
shot 45.2 percent in the second half and made 14 straight free
throws at one point to get back into this one.
The Bulldogs looked to have put this one away with an 11-2 run
after South Carolina cut its deficit to 14 points with 15:22 left.
Dustin Ware and Leslie hit 3s, then Thompkins added a lay-up and
another 3-pointer to put Georgia up 47-24 with 11 minutes left.
But South Carolina then went on a 23-7 run that started with a
layup by Malik Cooke and three free throws by R.J Slawson. By the
time Muldrow hit his second 3-pointer of the game and Bruce
Ellington made his first bucket, the Gamecocks were only down 54-47
with just under five minutes to go.
Cooke hit a layup and Muldrow hit two free throws and Georgia
was just 57-55 with 1:26 to go. But Jeremy Price answered with two
free throws and South Carolina never had a chance to tie until
Ellington’s 3 was blocked.
Ellington, South Carolina’s leading scored at 14.7 points a
game, scored just two points, but seemed hobbled for most of the
game with a hurt calf. Cooke added 15 points and Slawson added
Travis Leslie scored 13 points and Price added eight for the
Georgia dominated the first half, scoring the first eight points
of the game before Lakeem Jackson’s fastbreak layup with 13:22 to
go in the half cut the Bulldogs lead to 8-2. Jackson would be the
only starter for the Gamecocks to score in the first half.
It kept getting uglier, and a layup by Chris Barnes with 4:49 to
go in the first half put Georgia ahead 24-5.
The Gamecocks had a chance to hit double-digits in the first
half, but Ramon Galloway missed the front end of a one-in-one with
2.5 seconds left.
Muldrow picked up the Gamecocks career block record when he
stuffed Barnes on a dunk attempt with about eight minutes to go to
beat Brandon Wallace’s record of 249 blocks and move into the top
10 in the SEC career list. He won’t be able to catch league and
NCAA leader Jarvis Varnado’s 564 blocks.