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Georgia Beats Arkansas 66-61 in OT, Improves to 3-1 in SEC

Courtesy of Georgia Sports Communications

ATHENS, Ga. – The Georgia men’s basketball team won its second overtime game of conference play, beating Arkansas 66-61 Saturday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs start 3-1 in the SEC for the first time since the 2006-07 season.

With Georgia leading 60-55 with a minute remaining, Donte’ Williams rejected two Arkansas shot attempts in the lane giving Georgia possession, which led to a pair of Charles Mann free throws to give the Bulldogs’ an insurmountable seven point lead and their ninth win of the season.

Georgia scored the extra period’s first seven points, but the Razorbacks fought back to within five points before Williams’ pair of blocks with a minute left.

“That’s a hard-fought SEC game,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We beat a really good Arkansas team, so we should feel like we accomplished something today because [Arkansas] is a really good basketball team. It was a hard-fought slugfest. That’s a game where both teams are really defending, and fortunately for us, we won the rebounding battle. But that was a dogfight, and we feel good about coming away with a win.”

With three minutes left in the second half, Brandon Morris hit a layup in the lane to give Georgia its first lead since late in the first half. Morris’ basket capped a 15-7 run for Georgia starting at the 16-minute mark in the first half, when Arkansas held a seven point lead—its largest of the game. After Arkansas tied the game with a minute left, both teams had a possession in the final minute of the game, but neither was able to end the game in regulation.

Marcus Thornton notched his first career double-double in the win, scoring 11 points and leading the team with 13 rebounds.  Kenny Gaines led Georgia with 15 points.

Coty Clarke paced the Razorbacks offensively with 13 points. Today’s game was the third straight game in which the Razorbacks have gone to overtime.

Georgia welcomes South Carolina to Athens on Wednesday for an 8:00 p.m. tip-off. The game will be carried on SEC-TV. For ticket information, go to Georgiadogs.com.

Box Score/Schedule

Georgia vs. Arkansas Notes
Worth Noting….
• Georgia’s starting lineup was Marcus Thornton (42nd career start), Brandon Morris (27th), Charles Mann (22nd), Kenny Gaines (16th) and Donte’ Williams (75th). It’s the sixth straight game that Coach Mark Fox has employed this lineup to start the game.
• The win is Georgia’s second overtime victory of the year after beating Missouri on the road in overtime to open SEC play ten days ago.
• This year’s 3-1 start in conference play is Georgia’s best since the 2006-07 campaign.
•Marcus Thornton tallied his first career double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. It’s the 26th double-double by the seventh different player under head coach Mark Fox.
• The Bulldogs remain undefeated (9-0) when outrebounding its opponent… Today Georgia won the battle on the boards 56-34.
• On the afternoon, the Bulldogs had 24 offensive boards, the most since 2/9/97 when Georgia had 26 vs. Vanderbilt.
• Kenny Gaines has been Georgia’s leading scorer in all nine of the Bulldogs’ wins this season.
• Georgia’s 66 points mark the 12th time this season that it has scored over last season’s point average (60.8).
• Today marked Georgia’s sixth consecutive game vs. an RPI Top 100 opponent.
• Freshman J.J. Frazier made his largest impact in a game this season, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds in 17 minutes of play.
• Georgia’s 71.8 percent free throw percentage is its best since 12/29 vs. Gardner Webb (76 percent).

Career Highs…
• Marcus Thornton set a career-high with 13 rebounds.
• J.J. Frazier set a career-high with 17 minutes played and four rebounds.

The Series: Georgia improves to 14-17 in its all-time series with Arkansas. The Bulldogs now lead the series 8-4 when the game takes place in Athens.

Next Up: The Bulldogs wrap up a two-game homestand on Wednesday when it plays South Carolina. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 8:00 p.m. and will be televised on SEC-TV.  The Bulldogs lead the series with the Gamecocks 52-48 and have won six of the last seven meetings.

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