ATHENS, Ga.---Three Bulldogs scored in double figures to lead Georgia to its third win in a row, a 67-56 win over South Carolina at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C. Saturday afternoon.
Georgia (10-11, 4-4) was led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who had 19 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought the second half we played a very complete basketball game,” said head coach Mark Fox. “Offensively, we were really sound. We finished plays and got a lot of good shots. On defense, outside of fouling [a little too much], it was pretty good. Kenny Gaines and John Cannon were a big force in the second half, and it’s a really good win.”
The first half featured 12 lead changes and five ties, with neither team ever holding more than a four-point advantage.
With South Carolina (12-9, 2-6) holding a 30-29 advantage to begin the second half, Georgia opened the half on a 6-1 run to take a 35-31 lead. With just under 10 minutes remaining, the Bulldogs increased their lead to 51-44 off a Vincent Williams 3-pointer.
With under two minutes remaining, South Carolina pulled to within five points after Brian Richardson hit a three-pointer from the corner, but Brantley and Caldwell-Pope responded with a pair of three-point baskets to go up 59-49 and secure the Georgia win.
Kenny Gaines scored 11 points and John Cannon scored six of his eight points in the second half.
Today’s game marks the first time since late December that more than two Georgia players have tallied double figures. Eight different Bulldogs contributed points offensively in the Georgia win.
“We had a lot of guys contribute,” Fox continued. “This is starting to become a team and that’s how you win some games.”
Georgia shot nearly 60 percent for the game, and limited the Gamecocks to 35 percent shooting from the field
South Carolina was led by Michael Carrera who had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Georgia will travel to Knoxville Wednesday for a midweek bout with Tennessee. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on the SEC Network.
• Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Sherrard Brantley, Vincent Williams, Donte’ Williams and John Florveus were the starters in today’s game. It’s the 12th different starting lineup that Georgia has used this year.
• Today’s win marks the first time that Georgia has had three straight SEC wins since Feb. 2-11, 2011 (exludes non-conference game versus Xavier).
• Caldwell-Pope led Georgia in scoring for 19th time this season. The sophomore has scored in double figures in every game this season.
• Georgia is now 5-2 versus South Carolina under head coach Mark Fox
• The Bulldogs outscored South Carolina 34-21 off the bench and score more points off turnovers than the Gamecocks (16-9).
• Kenny Gaines set a career-high with 11 points.
• Charles Mann tied a career-high with six assists
The Series: Georgia improves to 51-48 all-time versus the Gamecocks. South Carolina still leads the series in Columbia, 30-17
Next Up: Georgia travels to Knoxville to take on Tennessee on Wednesday. Tennessee leads the all-time series 92-54, including 55-14 in those games played in Knoxville.