Georgia holds off Winthrop rally to win at home, 87-82 - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Georgia holds off Winthrop rally to win at home, 87-82

By BLAKE GILES

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Yante Maten had 25 points and 11 rebounds to help Georgia hold off Winthrop 87-82 on Tuesday night.

Turtle Jackson was one of five Bulldogs (7-1) in double figures with 14 points. Mike Edwards added 11, and Rayshaun Hammonds and Derek Ogbeide 10 apiece.

Xavier Cooks led Winthrop (5-4) with 31 points. The Eagles missed six of their first seven 3-pointers, but returned to form over the last 23 minutes, hitting 7 of 12 and overtaking the Bulldogs in the second half. Nych Smith added 12 points and Anders Broman chipped in 11.

An early 12-1 run by the Bulldogs pushed Georgia to a 17-5 lead after a driving layup by Teshaun Hightower less than six minutes into the game. Three straight baskets by Smith rallied Winthrop, however, to a 17-12 deficit just two minutes later.

As late as 3:42 in the half, Hightower's two free throws put the Bulldogs up 36-27. But Winthrop, after hitting just 1 of 7 3-pointers so far, finished the half hitting three straight attempts from beyond the arc, and adding a pair of free throws to cut the gap to 40-38 at the half.

By halftime, Maten already had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs. Cooks led Winthrop with nine points, but had to take 11 shots to make two.

But Cooks dunked twice early in the second half, and Anders Broman nailed a 3-pointer to put Winthrop ahead 47-44 with 16:26 to play. The Eagles' biggest lead came with 13:07 to play when Anders Broman hit a 3 from the top of the arc to make it 58-52.

Georgia recaptured the lead with 6:20 to play when Juwan Parker hit a short jumper to make it 66-65. But it was not until Maten hit a hook shot with 1:24 remaining that Georgia took the lead for good. Jackson followed that with a running jumper high off the glass to make it 83-79 with 49 seconds to play.

Georgia made 4 of 6 free throws in the last 28 seconds to protect its lead.

BIG PICTURE

A loss by Georgia would have undone some good work away from Stegeman Coliseum since Thanksgiving, including a win over then-ranked St. Mary's and a win at Marquette. The Bulldogs missed the NCAA Tournament the last two years, in part because of non-conference losses early in the year.

UP NEXT

Georgia: The Bulldogs take 10 days off for final exams before traveling to Massachusetts Dec. 16.

Winthrop: Resumes after exams and visits Alabama State on Dec. 16.

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