Djurisic leads Georgia basketball to win

Associated PressDecember 29, 2012 

ATHENS -- On a day when the leading scorer in the SEC was a little off his game, Georgia’s basketball team needed a boost and got it in the form of Nemanja Djurisic’s career-high 21 points.

“We need people to step up and score if I am not making baskets,” said Kentavious Caldwell-Pope after scoring a season-low 11 points Saturday in Georgia’s 82-73 win over Florida A&M.

Djurisic grinned sheepishly nearby as Caldwell-Pope bragged on him, but he said he could have played a lot better.

“The truth is, I have not been playing as well as I can,” he said.

After starting eight of Georgia’s first nine games, he has come off the bench during a current three-game winning streak.

“I was struggling,” he said. “My shooting was not as good, and I lost my confidence. It was frustrating, but the coaches and the players were all patient with me.”

Djurisic doesn’t consider himself back at full production yet.

“I just had a lot of opportunities,” he said. “They passed the ball to me, and I was running the floor well. I missed so many easy layups.”

Brandon Morris added 10 points for Georgia (5-7).

Florida A&M (4-8) was led by Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, who came off the bench to score 16 points and grab a game-high 11 rebounds. James Adams added 12 and Markee Teal 10.

Georgia led the entire game, mostly by double figures, but the Rattlers took advantage of a seven-minute cold spell by the Bulldogs in the second half to cut the deficit to six, 53-47, with 12:53 to play.

But Donte’ Williams and Caldwell-Pope combined for three baskets in the paint to push the lead back to 59-47.

Florida A&M made one final surge, cutting into the lead, 78-71, with 42 seconds to go after a basket by Adams. The Rattlers forced a turnover on the inbounds play, but another missed 3-pointer ended the comeback attempt.

Georgia head coach Mark Fox was concerned with his team’s lack of maturity.

“We played pretty well offensively in the first half, but we are so immature,” he said. “We obviously did not play well with the lead.

“We are immature in so many ways. As competitors and as people,” Fox continued. “That has to change for us to become a good basketball team.”

The Rattlers hit 7-of-15 3-point shots in the first half, but they missed all 11 long-range shots in the second half.

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