ATHENS, Ga.---Georgia opened the 2012-13 campaign with a 68-62 victory over the visiting Jacksonville Dolphins Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
Sophomore forward Nemanja Djurisic tallied his second career double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also contributed 17 points and six rebounds.
“It’s a good opening win for us but we didn’t play very well,” said head coach Mark Fox. “But we were able to win the game and we had some very good moments at times. Our offense in the first half was good; our defense in the second half was awful. There is certainly a lot to learn from this and it is a good first step.”
Georgia jumped out to a quick ten-point lead on an alley-hoop from freshman Brandon Morris to sophomore Tim Dixon with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
Caldwell-Pope was held scoreless nearly the entire first half, but scored the team’s final five points, including a three-pointer with just 24 seconds left to give Georgia a 34-21 lead heading into the locker rooms.
Jacksonville cut the Georgia lead to as few as four twice in the second half, including with just 45 ticks left, but the Bulldogs were able to force two turnovers to hold onto the win. Jacksonville’s defense held Georgia without a field goal the final six minutes of the game.
Both teams shot just 63 percent from the free throw line.
The win improves Georgia to 9-0 all-time in its series with the Dolphins and marks the program’s seventh straight season-opening win.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Monday playing host to Youngstown State as part of the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic. The game is televised on ESPNU and scheduled for a 7:00 p.m tip-off.
***Tonight’s win marks the seventh consecutive season-opening win for Georgia.
***Sophomore Nemi Djurisic picked up his second career double-double scoring 14 and grabbing 12 rebounds. He had 11 points and 11 rebounds in a winning effort against Mississippi State in the 2012 SEC Tournament.
***Sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was held scoreless until the 1:32 mark in the first half until he scored the Bulldogs final six points of the half on a free throw, steal and dunk, and three-pointer. He finished the game as the team’s leading scorer with 17 points.
***Senior Sherrard Brantley made his first career start
***Three players scored their first points as Bulldogs (Brandon Morris-2, Kenny Gaines-2, Charles Mann-4)
***Several UGA veterans hit careers highs
-Caldwell-Pope: 5 steals
-J. Florveus: 8 points
-N. Djurisic: 12 rebounds
-T. Dixon: 4 points, 7 rebounds
***Earlier today, Caldwell-Pope was named to the Preseason Coaches All-SEC team.