ATHENS, Ga. — For the second consecutive year, Georgia scheduled a morning game to accommodate some 4,000 local elementary school children, faculty and staff who visited Stegeman Coliseum on Thursday.
It seemed as if some of the Bulldogs might have missed their wake-up call, however, as they found themselves in a battle with Gardner-Webb, requiring a run in the last five minutes of the game to take a 58-49 victory.
“I thought both teams had a tough time with the morning start,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “I thought our team had a little zombie look to them - couldn’t even pass and catch it cleanly to start the game. We just never quite found a rhythm - give (Gardner-Webb’s) defense credit for that, too.”
Georgia, which shot 38.3 percent (18 of 47) from the field and committed 19 turnovers, held a pair of 10-point leads early in the second half but Gardner-Webb stayed close, even moving to within one point (38-37) on a 3-point play by Josh Castellanos. But the Bulldogs went on a 20-12 run in the final five minutes to hold off their opponents.
Georgia (5-4) has won four consecutive games and is above .500 for the first time since its season opener against Wofford.
AUBURN 66, CLEMSON 64
In Auburn, Ala., Chris Denson scored 19 points and Auburn (5-3) hit 4 of 6 free throws over the final 43 seconds to preserve a win over Clemson (8-3).
Denson hit 1 of 2 free throws with 43 seconds left to give Auburn a 63-62 lead. Then Asauhn Dixon-Tatum blocked Rod Hall’s jumper.
Tahj Shamsid-Deen grabbed the rebound and he and KT Harrell pushed the ball across midcourt and milked 10 seconds off the clock before Clemson managed to foul.
Harrell hit on both free throws with 14 seconds left.
SOUTH CAROINA UPSTATE 74, SOUTH CAROLINA 68
In Columbia, Ricardo Glenn tied a career high with 21 points and added 14 rebounds to lead South Carolina Upstate (6-5) over South Carolina (2-5).
The Spartans came in 0-8 all-time against opponents from the Southeastern Conference.
But they withstood a late rally by South Carolina.
Trailing 52-51 with 7:40 remaining, the Spartans used a 10-2 run to forge ahead. Glenn got things rolling with a lay-up, Ty Greene drained a jumper and added two free throws before Glenn and Torrey Craig had back-to-back rebound baskets to make it 61-54 with 4:49 remaining.