Frazier, Georgia survive 64-61 scare against Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Georgia didn't flinch with Charles Mann, J.J. Frazier and perhaps even their NCAA tournament prospects on the line.
Frazier hit two free throws with 4.9 seconds left and the Bulldogs held on for a 64-61 win over Auburn Saturday in the regular-season finale.
The Bulldogs (20-10, 11-7 Southeastern Conference) avoided a potentially costly blow to their NCAA hopes with clutch free throw shooting. The slumping Tigers (12-19, 4-14), meanwhile, faltered at the line.
Mann gave Georgia a 62-60 lead on two free throws with 1:32 left after Auburn's TJ Lang missed two straight from the line. Coach Mark Fox said the Bulldogs weren't stressing about postseason implications.
''We didn't try to make too much of that,'' Fox said. ''We didn't really talk too much about that, but we knew the game was important.
''Our team all year long has been pretty competitive.''
The Bulldogs are no worse than a fifth seed for the SEC tournament.
Auburn forced a shot-clock violation with 37 seconds left, trailing by two points.
The Tigers missed two 3-pointers but Jordon Granger and Cinmeon Bowers grabbed the offensive rebounds, and Bowers was fouled with 5.8 seconds left.
Bowers made only the second of two attempts.
Frazier led Georgia with 16 points while Mann had 15, including 13 in the second half. Mann was perfect on nine free throw attempts. Nemanja Djurisic had 14 points and eight rebounds.
Guard Kenny Gaines missed the game with a sprained ankle.
''They gave us everything they had and everything we could handle,'' Frazier said.
Auburn's KT Harrell had 24 points but couldn't hit a desperation shot at the buzzer.
''I didn't like the last look I got KT but what am I going to do, not put it in his hands and not let him take it?'' said Tigers coach Bruce Pearl, who spent some time thanking fans afterward.
Harrell made all eight foul shots and 4 of 13 3-point attempts.
Bowers and K.C. Ross-Miller each scored 11 points.
''It was more about our defense,'' Harrell said. ''We had a couple of breakdowns toward the end of the game, and that's what lost us the game.''
The Bulldogs made all 13 free throw attempts in the second half and 19 of 21 for the game. Auburn finished 10 of 18 from the line.
Ross-Miller had a three-point play and 3-pointer on consecutive possessions to match Auburn's biggest lead, at 52-45, with 11:32 left.
The Bulldogs answered with an 11-2 spurt to take a 56-54 lead on a drive by Frazier with 6:03 left.
Georgia rebounded after a loss to No. 1 Kentucky when the Bulldogs lost a nine-point second-half lead but struggled to put away the Tigers.
''Kentucky has one of the greatest teams in the history of college basketball,'' Fox said. ''We had a hard, hard-fought game. I made a point on Thursday to get all the emotion out. I don't think we had any Kentucky hangover at all.''
Georgia: Posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since producing three in a row from 1996-98. ...Broke a 90-all tie in a series that dates back to 1908.
Auburn: Has dropped six straight games and seven in a row at Auburn Arena. ...Starting guard Antoine Mason missed his third straight game after father Anthony's funeral on Friday.
Marcus Thornton set the school mark with his 130th career game. He received a medical redshirt after playing in nine games in 2013. He's also only the sixth Georgia player to play on three 20-win teams. Thornton played only seven minutes in the first half with foul trouble and fouled out in the final seconds with eight points.
It was the final regular-season game for Auburn seniors KT Harrell, Malcolm Canada and K.C. Ross-Miller. Antoine Mason was also recognized before the game. All four started their college careers elsewhere.
Georgia plays in the SEC tournament either Thursday or Friday.
Auburn plays Wednesday in the SEC tournament.