Georgia holds off South Carolina, 74-69, for third-consecutive SEC road win
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Silas Demary Jr.’s 15 points followed by an efficient team performance in the second half on both ends of the court led the way as the Georgia men’s basketball team held off South Carolina, 74-69, at Colonial Life Arena on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs have now won three consecutive road games for the first time since the 2014-15 season. Demary Jr. led the way for the Georgia as he matched his career-high 15 points along with seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. RJ Melendez also hit double figures with 12 points while Jabri Abdur-Rahim posted 11 points paired with a season-high eight boards. Justin Hill was also effective on the offensive front with nine points while recording five assists.
An early contested battle saw neither team lead by more than three points early on as Georgia (13-4, 3-1 SEC) led 11-10 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half. Trailing 27-21, the Bulldogs strung together a couple of steals to hop on an 8-0 run powered by back-to-back Melendez 3-pointers to lead 29-27 late in the first half. After trading scores in the final three minutes, Georgia trailed 34-33 heading into the locker room. Down 50-45 with under 10 minutes left in the game, the Bulldogs sparked a 13-1 run while holding South Carolina (14-3, 2-2 SEC) to zero field goals in just under nine minutes of play to lead 58-51. Despite a late push by the Gamecocks, the Bulldogs held up defensively to close out the game and get back in the win column in conference play.
Georgia will stay on the road as it prepares to face its second top 10-ranked opponent in its last three games when it takes on No. 8 Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. in Lexington, Ky. The two programs split last season’s head-to-head meetings with the Bulldogs winning the most recent matchup, 75-68, against the Wildcats on Feb. 11, 2023, at Stegeman Coliseum.
Five Fast Facts
• Georgia has won three consecutive road games for the first time since the 2014-15 season (defeated Alabama 66-65, Ole Miss 76-72 and Auburn 64-61).
• Jabri Abdur-Rahim matched his season-high in rebounds (8), marking his second most in a game in his career (11 vs Notre Dame, 2022).
• Georgia’s bench outscored South Carolina’s bench 32-13 with 20 points coming in the second half.
• Silas Demary Jr. matched his career-high in points (15) while tallying a career-high in free throws (9).
• Justin Hill recorded five assists, marking his seventh game in the last nine with four or more assists.
Head Coach Mike White: “It’s huge. Our biggest win of the year. South Carolina is an NCAA Tournament team. Lamont [Paris] and the staff have done an amazing job. They’re really good and we’re really fortunate the way we cashed in at the foul line. The way we rebounded the ball against a team that – to put it bluntly – is just a better rebounding team than we are. Are we fighting in there at a higher level with more physicality than we were a month ago? Absolutely. Credit to our guys, and you’ve got to credit our bench again. Guys come in the game and continue to affect the game in different ways, whether they are scoring or not.”
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