Jan. 7, 2012
By Nick Daly, UGA Sports Communications
ATHENS -- Trevor Lacey scored 19 points and Tony Mitchell added 17 as Alabama defeated Georgia in each team's SEC season opener at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday night.
The loss ended the Bulldogs' 5-game winning streak.
Freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope provided the biggest offensive spark for the Bulldogs, scoring a career high 22 points. Caldwell-Pope also added four steals and three rebounds, continuing his sensational freshman season.
"Kentavious is a good player, and he's been thrust into a large role as a freshman," coach Mark Fox said of his standout guard. "I thought he did an admirable job tonight."
Alabama (12-3, 1-0) led comfortably for most of the game, until midway through the second half. Georgia (9-6, 0-1) was able to cut the margin down to six after a series of forced turnovers. Missed shots and giveaways, however, quickly eliminated the momentum that the Bulldogs had built.
"We had the game where we wanted it in the second half," coach Mark Fox added. "It was 52-46 but from that point forward Alabama's experience took over. They made the plays in the clutch and we didn't defend or rebound the basketball."
Mitchell provided the key boost for the late surge that led to the Alabama victory, scoring 11 points in the second half and finishing with 17 total points. Lacey, a freshman scored 17 of his career-high 19 points in the first half.
The Bulldogs continue SEC play Tues., Jan. 10, as they travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the 13th-ranked Florida Gators.