Bulldogs stay on their surprising hot streak

semerson@macon.comFebruary 9, 2013 

Here's a quick postgame story. Check the UGA page on this site for a more complete game story once it's posted later on Saturday night.

ATHENS - It wasn't pretty - it hasn't been for much of the run - but the Georgia men's basketball stayed on its surprising roll.

The Bulldogs took an early lead and then held on for a 52-46 win over Texas A&M, in what head coach Mark Fox appropriately termed "a slugfest."

There were a total of 47 fouls, and the shooting was abysmal: Georgia shot 32 percent from the field, and Texas A&M was 24 percent. Each team only scored 12 baskets.

But Georgia won because, once again, it got help from the supporting cast. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had a season-low 10 points, and didn't make a field goal for the first time in his two-year college career. A month ago that would have been sure doom for the Bulldogs, but these days his teammates are picking him up.

Vincent Williams - playing with just one contact in his eye, the other one having been busted out in the first half - nailed a critical three when Texas A&M had whittled it to a three-point game, about midway through the second half.

Sherrard Brantley hit another critical 3, capping an 8-0 run that pushed Georgia's lead to 11.

The game got ugly down the stretch, with officials calling pretty much everything. Fox was asked about that afterwards, and passed on blaming the officials, instead pointing at the way college basketball is being played in general.

In the final minute, Caldwell-Pope was called for a technical, after apparently venting to teammates about a foul call.

"I guess they were just listening too hard," Caldwell-Pope said of the official.

Then in the final second there was a near-brawl, as a scrum led to some tussling, and Brantley had to be pulled away by his teammates. Georgia assistants also corralled players before they left the bench. When the game ended, boos cascaded on officials Mike Nance, John Hampton and Tracy Woodson as they left the floor.

But Georgia (12-11) will take the win, having finally gotten above .500 for the season after a 2-7 start.

The Bulldogs also improved to 6-4 in the SEC, good enough for a tie for fifth place with Missouri. Its the first five-game win streak for Georgia in SEC play in 12 years.

A few other notes:

- The attendance (7,380) was a season-high for an SEC game at Stegeman Coliseum. The previous high came against Mercer, when more than 5,000 elementary schoolkids were let in for the game.

- Nemi Djurisic led Georgia with 13 points, but he also got a kidding bit of criticism for his passing.

"Because he's a good passer he thinks he's Tom Brady," Fox said. "Or Matty Ice. For the Falcons. Lemme say that."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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