Point guards help Georgia beat Lipscomb, move to .500 on the season

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ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia basketball coach Mark Fox went to the extremes at point guard Saturday with starter Charles Mann nursing a sore knee.

Starting at the position for the first time and scoring a career-high 17 points was 6-foot-7 sophomore Brandon Morris.

Playing almost as many minutes in one game as he had seen in his career was walk-on Taylor Echols.

Combined they led Georgia (4-4) to an 84-75 win over Lipscomb (4-6).

Mann, averaging a team-high 14.3 points a game, did not practice during the team’s 12-day break for exams. Backup freshman point J.J. Frazier did not play Saturday because of a coach’s decision. That left Morris and Echols.

Fox said that the staff has worked with Morris to play the point, and Echols had been a standout in practice recently.

“Even back last summer we always teach our players a second position, and Brandon’s was the point,” said Fox. “He did not put us in a lot of mismatches because of his length.”

“Taylor has practiced really well all year,” said Fox. “He waited for his turn, and tonight he took advantage of it.”

Lipscomb played a zone most of the game, and Echols was more effective against that defense.

“We were better with Taylor in there against the zone,” said Fox. “Brandon does not have a lot of experience at the point against a zone.”

Georgia got 15 points from Namanja Djurisic and 14 from Danté Williams.

Morris said he played point guard some in youth basketball.

“My uncle used to have me dribble tennis balls,” he said. “I used to play a lot of street ball, and you have to have a good handle to play street ball.”

Echols had played 37 minutes in his Georgia career before Saturday. He tallied nine points, four assists and two steals against the Bisons.

CLEMSON 71, FURMAN 35

In Clemson, S.C., the Tigers (8-2) used a 17-0 first-half run and a big game from sophomore guard Jordan Roper to roll over Furman (4-6).

Roper scored a season-high 16 points for Clemson.

Furman shot just 30.2 percent from the field and its 35 points was the lowest by an opponent in coach Brad Brownell’s four-year tenure at Clemson.

Devin Coleman and K.J. McDaniels each scored 12 points for the Tigers. Former Laney standout Rod Hall had four points and four assists.

Kendrec Ferrara led Furman with 10 points.

The Tigers led 21-17 with 6:51 left, but finished the half on a 17-2 run. With Clemson up 26-17, Roper nailed back-to-back 3-pointers and added a driving layup, scoring eight consecutive points for a 34-17 edge.

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