As has become customary, the Alabama Crimson Tide (16-8, 8-3) won ugly over the Georgia Bulldogs (12-12, 6-5) 52-45 on the road in Athens. Don’t let Georgia’s .500 record fool you; the Bulldogs had been red hot coming into tonight’s game as they owned the SEC’s longest winning streak at five games.
It was an ugly offensive game all around as Alabama shot 39% from the field and Georgia shot 30%. Alabama was 6-of-18 from three while Georgia was 5-of-22, and both teams were an identical 8-of-14 from the foul line.
Alabama fell down 15-6 early in the first half, but ended the first twenty minutes of action on a 19-7 run to take a 25-22 lead into the locker room. It was ugly for both sides for most of the second half as Alabama seemed to control the game into the final media timeout. With under four minutes to go, the Crimson Tide held a 40-34 lead and Georgia was shooting 19% in the half.
But then, led by star guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia went on a 7-0 run to take a 41-40 lead. It looked like things had fallen apart for Alabama as everything was going against them with the momentum swinging heavily in the Bulldogs direction.
Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper made sure Alabama wasn’t going to lose this game by knocking down back-to-back threes to put the Tide back in the lead at 46-41. Those were the key shots of the game as the Crimson Tide pulled away for a 52-45 win over Georgia.
Rodney Cooper had been struggling lately, but he scored 14 points and grabbed 5 rebounds to lead the way for the Crimson Tide. He was the only Alabama player in double figures, but Trevor Releford scored 9 points on only 3 shots, and Trevor Lacey and Levi Randolph scored 8 apiece.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all scorers with 22 points, but he was only 4-of-12 from three. Nemanja Djurisic scored 12, but he did the majority of his damage in the first half. No other Georgia player scored more than 4 points.
It’s never easy to win games on the road, especially against team that has been playing as well as Georgia has lately, so Alabama fans should feel good about this win even though it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing.
The win moved the Crimson Tide to 8-3 in the SEC, and after Kentucky’s loss to Florida, Alabama is now tied for second place in the conference standings. Alabama now heads back to Coleman Coliseum to take on South Carolina on Saturday at 3 CT.
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