ATHENS, Ga.—Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 25 points to lead Georgia to a 64-56 win over Southern California Saturday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum.
Caldwell-Pope has led Georgia (4-7) in points in every game this season. Sophomore forward John Cannon also contributed 10 points and seven rebounds, both career-highs.
“That was a terrific win for our team,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We scored the ball pretty efficiently against a good defensive team. That was very pleasing to me. Kentavious played a great game, and he is obviously continuing to grow up with this team. I was proud of our effort and determination especially in the second half. This is a really good win going into the holidays.”
After closing the Trojan lead to just 28-27 to end the first half, the Bulldogs opened the second half on an electric 12-4 run to make the score 41-32 with 15 minutes remaining. During the run, Caldwell-Pope scored 10 of his 19 second-half points.
The Trojans chipped away and shrunk the Bulldog lead to as little as two, but a three-pointer from Caldwell-Pope and four straight points from Cannon crushed the Trojan momentum.
Georgia’s defense held the Trojans without a basket and to just one rebound in the final two minutes of the game.
Southern California was led by Omar Oraby and Eric Wise who scored 14 and 12 points, respectively. For the game, the Trojans were 5-of-19 from behind the three-point arc.
Georgia improved on a 37.5 percent field goal performance in the first half (9-of-24) shooting 61.9 percent (13-of-21) in the second half.
Georgia will return to action next Saturday, Dec. 29, against Florida A&M. The game, the fourth of the Bulldogs’ five-game home stand, will tip-off at 4 p.m. and will be televised on CSS.
• With his 25 point performance today, Caldwell-Pope ranked eighth in the country among players who have scored the highest percentage of their team’s points (30.4%). Among “Power-Six” schools, the Greenville, Ga. native is ranked third.
• Caldwell-Pope is also one of four players in the SEC (who have played in at least half of their team's games) to score at least 10 points in every game this season. Elston Turner (Texas A&M), Murphy Holloway (Ole Miss) and Johnny O'Bryant (LSU) are the three other players.
• Today’s game was only the second time this season that Georgia has had a 20-point scorer (11/12, Caldwell-Pope, 27 vs. Youngstown State)
• Today’s win was the first time this season that Georgia has won a game after trailing at halftime and is also the first time this season that Georgia has won consecutive games.
• Georgia outrebounded USC 33-32…it’s the third straight game in which Georgia has outrebounded its opponent and are now 4-1 when doing so.
• After not playing more than 18 minutes in the first 8 games of the season, Charles Mann has played in over 30 minutes in each of the last three games. In those three games, Mann has averaged 12.3 points and 6.0 rebounds
John Cannon set career highs with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Charles Mann set a career high with six assists.
The series: Georgia improves to 3-0 in its series with Southern California
Next-up: Georgia will host Florida A&M on Saturday at 4:00 at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs are 2-0 all-time against the Rattlers, last having beaten them 95-74 in 2005.