Georgia Tops Auburn - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Georgia Tops Auburn

ATHENS, Ga. - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points and pulled down ten rebounds, leading Georgia to a 57-49 win over Auburn on Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

The performance is Caldwell-Pope's third double-double of the season. Freshman guard Charles Mann also contributed ten points.

The win is Georgia's (9-11, 3-4) third conference win of the season, and second in a row, while Auburn (8-12, 2-5) has lost five straight.

"That was an SEC dog fight," said Georgia head coach Mark Fox. "Both teams played really hard and it was an extremely physical game. We were really gritty defensively. I thought offensively we got a little careless and turned the ball over too much. We just kept fighting, and Auburn kept fighting too. It was a physical, physical game. We feel that's a good win, and we feel fortunate to get it."

Allen Payne and Frankie Sullivan led Auburn with 13 points each but both were a combined 7-of-20 from the floor and 3-of-10 from 3-point range. Chris Denson scored six of Auburn's first nine points and ended with 12 points in his first start since Dec. 29 vs. No. 12 Illinois.

"It's been that way the last four or five games," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee of the Tigers' shooting woes. "When you shoot 28 percent, you are not going to beat anybody. You are not going to beat anybody at home, and you are not going to beat anybody on the road.

"I didn't think we executed very well. We didn't turn it over much, but we didn't execute like we normally do. Shooting 15-of-27 from the (free throw) line isn't going to cut it either."

Auburn raced out to a 9-4 lead four minutes in, but Georgia used a 9-1 run to take a 16-13 lead with 8:52 left. After Payne hit his second 3-pointer for Auburn's final lead of the game at 20-18 with 4:05 to go, Georgia scored eight straight points to take a 26-20 lead, capped by a Sherrard Brantley 3 with 1:36 left in the half.

Frankie Sullivan made 2-of-3 foul shots with :00.4 left as the Tigers trailed 26-22 at halftime.

With just under four minutes remaining in the game and the score tied 43-43, the Bulldogs scored five straight, capped off by senior forward Donte' Williams converting an three-point play.

After Auburn (8-12, 2-5) fought back to trail UGA 48-46, Caldwell-Pope pulled down a rebound on a missed three-pointer and found senior guard Sherrard Brantley on a long outlet pass. Brantley missed the contested lay-up, but Caldwell-Pope followed with a put back to put Georgia up 50-46.

After Auburn was forced to foul with under two minutes to play, Georgia shot five-of-six from the free throw stripe to secure the win.

Auburn never led during the second half, and the last tie came with just under five minutes remaining at 43-43.

"In our last eight halves of basketball, we've played winning in seven of them," Fox continued. "We are becoming more consistent, still making some mistakes, but there is a lot of room to grow here. They just keep battling and trying to get better, and I am really proud of our team. These kids have worked really hard and have been fully committed to the process."

Georgia held Auburn to just 28 percent shooting from the field, including 20 percent from three-point range.

Georgia will hit the road for a conference bout against South Carolina on Saturday while Auburn closes out its five out of seven game stretch on the road at No. 17 Missouri on Saturday. Both games tip off at 1:30 pm ET.

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