Feburary 2, 2011
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Trey Thompkins’ free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining lifted Georgia to a 60-59 win over Arkansas on Wednesday night.
Thompkins, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer at 17.1 points per game, was scoreless in the first half and missed his only shot after two early fouls limited him to just four minutes. The junior scored Georgia’s first six points of the second half, finishing with 12, and the Bulldogs never trailed again in snapping a two-game losing streak.
Gerald Robinson led Georgia (15-6, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) with 14 points, and Jeremy Price added 11. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Razorbacks 43-28 and shot 52 percent in the second half after connecting on just 10 of 34 shots (29 percent) in the first half.
Marshawn Powell led Arkansas (14-7, 4-4) with 16 points. The loss was the first of the season in Fayetteville for the Razorbacks, who are now 12-1 at home.
GEORGIA 60, ARKANSAS 59
Thompkins 5-8 1-2 12, Price 4-12 3-4 11, Leslie 3-9 0-0 7, Ware 3-5 2-2 9, Robinson 7-13 0-1 14, Thornton 0-2 0-0 0, Barnes 1-2 0-0 2, V. Williams 0-1 0-0 0, D. Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Nolte 0-3 0-0 0, Brantley 2-6 0-0 5. Totals 25-63 6-9 60.
Johnson 4-5 1-6 9, Powell 5-12 5-8 16, Britt 0-3 0-0 0, Clarke 3-8 0-0 8, Peterson 4-10 0-0 8, Wade 2-4 4-4 9, Bryant 2-3 0-0 4, Nobles 2-5 1-2 5, Sanchez 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-51 11-20 59.
Halftime-Arkansas 25-22. 3-Point Goals-Georgia 4-8 (Thompkins 1-1, Ware 1-2, Leslie 1-2, Brantley 1-3), Arkansas 4-12 (Clarke 2-4, Powell 1-2, Wade 1-2, Nobles 0-1, Peterson 0-1, Britt 0-1, Bryant 0-1). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Georgia 43 (Price 7), Arkansas 28 (Johnson 9). Assists-Georgia 13 (Ware 5), Arkansas 8 (Peterson 4). Total Fouls-Georgia 18, Arkansas 15. A-13,560.
Bulldogs pick up signature win under Fox with upset of Wildcats
Georgia coach Mark Fox pumped his fist in the air as he headed towards the tunnel as a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd soaked up the Bulldogs’ 77-70 upset of No. 10 Kentucky on Saturday.
Georgia forward Trey Thompkins (33) scored a game-high 25 points in Saturday’s 77-70 upset of No. 10 Kentucky.
Fox stopped to give a big hug to former Georgia star Jarvis Hayes.
So did Trey Thompkins, who scored a game-high 25 points to lead a Bulldogs team that went from wretched from the free throw line this season to wonderful against the Wildcats.
Moments earlier, fans were asked not to rush the court, and they obliged.
After all, this wasn’t exactly a stunner like some home wins over ranked teams last season in Fox’s first season.
"We’re as good as they are," Georgia junior wing Travis Leslie said. "We knew coming in we were able to compete with them. We knew we have talent just as they do."
That talent includes Thompkins, the high-flying Leslie (15 points, eight rebounds) and impact transfer Gerald Robinson (17 points).
"We felt like last year we had to play a little bit out of character to kind of win some of those," Fox said. "This year, we just felt like if we just played well we’re going to be good enough to have a chance to win. I’ve got to give our kids’ credit. They played with a real maturity."
The Bulldogs won their ninth straight game, the longest current streak in the SEC and their longest since the 1982-83 season when Georgia reached the Final Four.
Georgia finally got a signature win on its résumé this season and snapped the Wildcats’ seven-game winning streak. It was the Bulldogs’ second win over a top-10 opponent under Fox after a victory over No. 8 Tennessee last January.
"These are the type of games we need if we’re going to make a run into the (NCAA) tournament," Thompkins said. "We feel like we can play with anybody when we play our game."
Now the Bulldogs just might climb into the national rankings for the first time since 2003 when the new polls come out next week.
"Hopefully we can," said Thompkins, who had seven rebounds and made 11 of 12 free throws. "We watch TV. Everybody watches TV. We want to be on the TV just like everybody else is. We’re going to keep pushing forward."
Asked if Georgia was a top-25 team, Kentucky coach John Calipari said "Today they were."
"That score isn’t indicative of how badly they beat us. When the game was tied, that’s when you find out who’s who. We had some guys who just laid an egg."
Kentucky’s only other losses this year? North Carolina and Connecticut, programs that have combined to win four national titles since 1999.
"It’s a great win for our program," Fox said. "I didn’t think we were totally outclassed. I think we have a good team."
Georgia won its SEC opener for first time since beating LSU in the 2002-03 season in Hayes’ senior season and Jim Harrick’s last as Bulldogs’ coach.
"It’s wonderful," Hayes said. "We have a good one in coach Fox. For where this program was after I left, it’s been (a while) since we had anything to really celebrate here. Obviously winning the SEC (tournament) a few years ago, but he’s definitely got the program going in the right direction."
Georgia entered the game shooting 62.2 percent for the season from the foul line, ranking 308th out of 336 Division-I teams, but sank 30 of 34 (88.2 percent).
Thompkins said focus and practice work on free throws paid off.
"We just had confidence," Leslie said. "Everything was falling down for us."
Georgia shot 48.3 percent from the field in the first half when it opened the game by scoring the first seven points and closed with a 13-4 run to lead 41-30 at the half.
The Wildcats used an 11-0 second-half run to tie the game at 47 with 12:32 to play and took their one and only lead of the game when freshman forward Terence Jones (24 points, 10 rebounds) went around Jeremy Price and converted a three-point play for a 56-55 advantage with 10:05 to play.
Price was then called for an offensive foul, prompting Fox to throw his suit jacket on the bench.
"Our defense to start the half was not very good," Fox said. "We got a little emotional, but we kind of settled down and were able to get some stops and some rebounds."
Kentucky, whose top three scorers were all freshmen, including Doron Lamb with 18 and Brandon Knight with 10, was held to just one field goal during a stretch of more than seven minutes. Georgia went ahead by as many as 13 with under a minute to play.
Kentucky shot 38 percent for the game against a Bulldogs team that played physical on the Wildcats’ drives.
"We stayed composed, just didn’t give up," Leslie said.
Georgia doesn’t have much time to relish this one.
Up next is a trip Wednesday to No. 22 Vanderbilt, which lost at South Carolina on Saturday.
"We have to saddle up and play another one," Robinson said.
Georgia, 64-57 over Eastern Kentucky
ATHENS -- Georgia coach Mark Fox couldn’t find much good to say about the Bulldogs after their 64-57 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Friday.
He was disappointed about almost every facet of their performance.
“[There were] loose balls we didn’t get,” Fox said, starting his list. “We didn’t rebound it great. I don’t think we executed offensively very well. We had some poor decisions. I don’t think we played hard enough. We made some poor decisions defensively that set ourselves up for failure. I’m not pleased with how we played.”
And despite all of that, Georgia won its eighth consecutive game -- its longest winning streak since 2002-03 -- and went 7-0 in December for only the third time in the past 30 years. They enter SEC play at 11-2, tied with Kentucky for the best record among SEC teams.
The Bulldogs will open the conference portion of their schedule by hosting the Wildcats at 4 p.m. Jan. 8.
“We won all our games in December, and now we go into league play against the team that everyone thinks is the powerhouse in our league,” Georgia’s Trey Thompkins said. “We’re going to prepare as much as possible, and we’ll be ready to play.”
Thompkins rescued the Bulldogs when nothing else worked against Eastern Kentucky (5-8), which has lost four consecutive games.
Georgia was befuddled by the Colonels’ zone defense, and the score was tied at 47 with 7:17 to play. The Bulldogs missed five consecutive field-goal attempts in a four-minute span before the 6-foot-10 Thompkins took control down low.
Finding a comfortable spot just to the right of the basket, he scored six consecutive points for a 53-47 lead, and after Gerald Robinson dunked after a timeout, Thompkins made two free throws and another turnaround jumper for a 59-50 advantage with 2:40 remaining.
He finished with 26 points, the second highest point total of his career, behind only a 35-point performance against Florida Atlantic on Dec. 23, 2009.
“They know when they need a bucket, they can come to me if they need to,” Thompkins said. “I don’t necessarily know if that was the plan. That’s how it ended up. Once you give me the ball, it’s my job to put it in the basket. That’s what I did.”
Robinson offered a simple solution for Thompkins’ success against the smaller Colonels, whose tallest player is listed at 6-8.
“The game plan wasn’t necessarily to get it to him, but we understood that he was bigger and that we were getting most of our points in the paint,” he said. “[Trey’s] bigger. Just easy buckets. We’ll take them how we can get them.”
Georgia, which entered the game shooting 61.7 percent from the free-throw line, shot 70.6 percent (12-of-17), its second-best total of the season. The Bulldogs also held Eastern Kentucky to two 3-pointers in the second half after the Colonels shot five in the first half. They finished at 28 percent on 3-point shots (7-of-25).
None of that made Fox feel better about Georgia’s play.
“I feel lucky to get the win,” he said. “If I don’t start coaching better and we don’t start playing better, we’ll have a long 2011. I’m disappointed in our team. I wasn’t wowed how we played, how I coached. In the gut of the game, we were better.”
Bulldogs finish out another tight victory vs. UAB
With another close call Friday, Georgia is becoming quite the expert at nail-biting wins early in the season.
Gerald Robinson scored the Bulldogs’ last four points as Georgia outlasted Alabama-Birmingham 66-64 at Stegeman Coliseum.
"It’s teaching us how to play in tight games," Georgia forward Trey Thompkins said. "I’m not speaking too far ahead, but if we plan on being in the (NCAA) Tournament, that’s what it’s about. It’s about winning tight games, tough games, because everybody’s coming with their best punches."
Of Georgia’s four wins, three have been by three or fewer points, including the last two. Last Sunday, Georgia beat Manhattan 61-58 in the Old Spice Classic.
"We’ll take them however we can get them," Georgia guard Dustin Ware said. "A win’s a win in the column at the end of the day, no matter how you got it."
Thompkins scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots to lead Georgia (5-2) in three categories. Thompkins, who had missed Georgia’s first three games with a high-ankle sprain, survived a scary fall after Robinson’s layup pushed Georgia’s lead to 64-61 with 14.9 seconds left in the game.
"I went up to the rim because I thought Gerald was going to miss it," Thompkins said. "I got a little nudge and came down hard, but it was more on my hip. It scared me a little bit until I got the feeling back. I’m OK."
Robinson figured heavily into the final 15 seconds. He hit a driving layup to give Georgia a three-point lead with 14.9 seconds left.
On UAB’s ensuing possession, Robinson rebounded a missed 3-pointer by UAB’s Jamarr Sanders and was fouled. Then Robinson made two free throws to give Georgia a 66-61 lead with six seconds left. Sanders hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.
Robinson finished with 13 points and five assists. Forward Jeremy Price also had 14 points and four rebounds.
"A team isn’t limited to two or three guys to score at the end of the game," Thompkins said. "Now that we have Gerald, it opens up the floor so much more. We appreciate having him."
Georgia coach Mark Fox did not make Robinson available to the media after the game.
The Bulldogs looked like they had matters well in hand in the first half as they shot 55.6 percent from the field and built a 43-32 lead.
But UAB (6-2) outscored Georgia 12-4 to start the second half and pulled within 47-44 on a pair of free throws by Aaron Johnson with 15:42 left.
"We had a poor start and just didn’t play with the intensity and the concentration that you need to play with when you go on the road," UAB coach Mike Davis said. "We came out flat … too lackadaisical and they jumped on us. In the second half, we played with urgency. We were playing more as a team, especially on defense."
UAB took a one-point lead three times in the second half, the last coming on a jumper by Sanders with 2:16 left in the game. But Georgia responded with a jumper by Thompkins to give the Bulldogs a 60-59 lead with 1:55 remaining. Price added two free throws with 1:06 left to give Georgia a 61-59 lead.
"A win’s a win, whether it’s a blowout or by one or two," Price said. "It shows that we can compete with people when it comes down to crunch time."
UAB was led by Cameron Moore’s 20 points. Sanders had 16, Aaron Johnson had 14 and Ovie Soko had 11.
The Blazers rallied in the second half by grabbing 11 offensive rebounds in the second half and converting them into 14 points.
"We knew they’d make a second-half run," Fox said. "We’d gotten off to a really good start and we knew they’d make a second-half run. But we answered when our team was challenged late."
NOTES: Thompkins had a hand in five of Georgia’s first seven buckets, scoring on four and assisting on another. … UAB had five turnovers in the first five minutes but settled down and finished the game with 11 turnovers. … Connor Nolte had surgery to repair a broken nose on Monday. Early in the first half, he took a forearm to the face that knocked off his protective mask. Nolte returned and played four minutes in the first half.
Dogs Down Manhatten College 61 - 58