ATHENS, Ga.—Nemi Djurisic scored 17 points, including four straight in the final minutes to help Georgia to a 52-41 win over George Washington Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
It’s the second consecutive game that Djurisic has at least shared the lead in points for Georgia. Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also scored 17 points. Junior forward John Florveus led the Bulldogs with a career-high ten rebounds.
“That’s a good win,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We won the rebounding battle, and we shot well from the field. There are some nice things on that stat sheet. Then you see the turnover column and we have 25 (turnovers). I thought in the first half we looked like a team that needed school to start. We just had to grind through because we’ve been working hard. When it really mattered, though, I thought we got our energy back and our spirit back, and we beat a good team. I was really proud of a lot of our kids’ effort.”
The Colonials used a 10-3 run late in the first half to build a 21-18 lead at halftime. Both teams combined for 19 first-half turnovers and 2-for-9 from behind the three-point arc.
Georgia took the lead on a Caldwell-Pope slam dunk with just under 14 minutes to play in the second half. Later, senior guard Sherrard Brantley capped off a 7-0 Georgia run with a three pointer to take a 32-28 lead.
Both teams traded the lead until Georgia built a 46-39 lead off of a layup from Djurisic with two minutes remaining. Georgia shot a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line in the final minute to its fourth win in a row and sixth win of the season.
George Washington was paced offensively by Kevin Larsen who scored 14 points.
Georgia outrebounded the Colonials 39-31. It’s only the third time this season that George Washington has been outrebounded.
Georgia’s defense, which held George Washington to just 24 percent from the field, kept the Colonials without a three-pointer—the first time a Georgia team has done so since 2004.
Georgia returns to the hardwood for its SEC-opener Wednesday, Jan. 9, against Florida in Gainesville. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. and will be televised on CSS.
*Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Vincent Williams, Brandon Morris, John Florveus and Donte’ Williams were the starters—it’s Georgia’s eighth different starting lineup this season.
*Georgia held George Washington without a three-pointer. It’s the first time a Georgia team has done that since 11/26/04 vs. Nevada (261 games)…a team coached by current Georgia head coach Mark Fox.
*George Washington entered the game with a +6 rebounding margin, but tonight Georgia out rebounded the Colonials 39-31. It’s only the fourth time this season that George Washington has been outrebounded.
*Tonight also marked the second-fewest field goals allowed in the Mark Fox era. High Point only converted 12 field goals (12/21/2010) and ETSU converted 14 earlier this season.
*With his 17 points tonight, Caldwell-Pope is one of just 36 players in the country to score at least 10 points in every game that his team has played this season. He’s one of three SEC players and one of 14 players from “Power Six” to complete the feat.
*On the night, Caldwell-Pope and Djurisic combined to go 12-for-19 (63 percent) from the field. The rest of the team shot 7-for-20 (35 percent).
*After shooting 9-for-27 (33 percent) in the first half, the Colonials shot just 5-for-30 (16 percent) in the second half.
*After going 8-for-22 (36 percent) from the field in the first half, Georgia went 11-for-17 (65 percent) in the second half.
John Florveus set a career-high with ten rebounds.
The Series: Georgia moves to 1-0 all-time against the Colonials and is now 7-6 against the Atlantic-10 conference.
Next Up: Georgia will travel to open SEC competition against Florida on Wednesday at 7:00. The Bulldogs are 62-36 in its all-time series with the Gators. Georgia upset No. 11 Florida in its last meeting 76-62 (2/25/12, Athens).