Georgia 93, Belmont 84
Forward Yante Maten scored a career-high 33 points, 20 of them in the first half, to lead Georgia to a 93-84 win over Belmont in the first round of the NIT on Wednesday at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.
Maten shot 14-for-17 from the field, including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, and added 10 rebounds and three assists. He is the third Georgia player to score 30 this season.
The Bulldogs (20-13) also got a season-high 23 points from forward Charles Mann, 16 points and eight assists from guard J.J. Frazier and 12 points from guard Kenny Gaines.
Belmont (20-12) had five players in double figures, led by guard Craig Bradshaw with 19. The Bruins also got 16 points from guard Austin Luke, 14 points from forward Nick Smith, and 13 from forward Evan Bradds and 11 points from forward Taylor Barnette.
Georgia used a 21-12 spurt in the first half to take command and held a 45-38 halftime lead. The Bulldogs led by 13 points with 17:38 left but could not put the game away. Belmont drew to within 71-69 with 5:37 to go on a pair of free throws by Bradshaw, but the visitors were not able to take the lead.
Third-seeded Georgia advances to play at second-seeded Saint Mary's on Sunday in the second round.