Hill hits game winner, Bulldogs beat Seminoles 68-66
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Georgia men’s basketball team erased a 17-point second-half deficit and defeated the Florida State Seminoles, 68-66, on a game-winning jump shot from senior Justin Hill before 6,688 spectators on Wednesday evening at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Four Bulldogs (4-3) reached double figures in scoring on the night led by Silas Demary Jr.’s career-best 15 points and six rebounds. Off the bench, Hill scored 13 points, including the go-ahead bucket, and dished out three assists. Jabri Abdur-Rahim and RJ Melendez each had 12 points, with Abdur-Rahim sinking a season-high four 3-pointers while Melendez earned his second career double-double with 11 rebounds. As a team, Georgia held Florida State (4-2) to 17 points fewer than its season average of 83.2 per game while also outscoring the Seminoles in bench points by a 33-15 margin.
The first half was defined by a stout defensive effort from both teams with Georgia trailing 25-21 heading into the locker room. The Bulldogs prevented the Seminoles from converting a layup in the opening frame, going 0-for-5 at the rim and shooting just 26.5 percent from the field. To open the second half, Demary Jr. scored five straight for Georgia and cut the lead to one. Florida State would go on to take a 17-point lead with just over seven and a half minutes remaining, but the Bulldogs managed to respond with a run of its own.
With just under two and a half minutes to go, Georgia scored 14 straight points and took its first lead since the start of the game. After getting fouled on a putback from an offensive rebound, Frank Anslem-Ibe knocked down both free throws to put the team up one with just under a minute remaining. With the game tied and five seconds remaining, Hill created separation off a crossover on Cam’Ron Fletcher and had just enough space to sink the final bucket of the game, giving Georgia the win. The Bulldogs ended the game making six of its final eight shots.
Georgia will return to Stegeman Coliseum for a six-game homestand starting with Mercer on Dec. 1 set for a 7 p.m. ET tipoff. The game, which will be streamed by the SEC Network+, will be the 79th meeting between the programs and the first time playing since 2014. The Bulldogs hold a 55-23 advantage in the series.
Five Fast Facts
• Silas Demary Jr. set a new career-high in scoring with 15 points, knocking down a personal-best six free throws and adding six rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.
• Georgia gave up just 25 points in the first half, marking the least amount of points the Bulldogs have allowed in a half this season.
• The Bulldogs had a 1.1 assist-to-turnover ratio against Florida State, moving the team to 4-0 when having at least an even assist-to-turnover ratio or better.
• The Bulldogs outscored the Seminoles in bench points by a 33-15 margin. Georgia has now outscored opponents in bench points in all but one game this season.
• Jabri Abdur-Rahim knocked down a season-best four 3-pointers, the fifth time in his career making at least four shots from beyond the arc.
Head Coach Mike White: “That [win] is the epitome of a major response. We had a 24-5 run to finish it out against a program that wins games like that down the stretch. Florida State has won 14 consecutive overtime games. The culture here is to win those tight, close ones. We have a lot of respect for the success of Florida State’s program. For us to come in here and get that one the way that we did speaks volumes about the resiliency, mental toughness, the resolve, the connectivity of a team with nine new players. It was a huge win for us.”
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