Robinson Paces Bulldogs Past South Carolina 67-55
More Video: Post Game Press Conference
March 3, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - Gerald Robinson, Jr., playing his final home game at Stegeman Coliseum, scored 23 points to lead Georgia to a 67-55 win over South Carolina in each team's regular-season finale here Saturday afternoon.
The win gives Georgia a 14-16 regular-season record, 5-11 in SEC play, and secures a tie with Auburn for 10th place in the SEC. Because the Tigers won their only head-to-head matchup, however, they'll enter the SEC Tournament next week in New Orleans as the No. 10 seed. Georgia's first-round opponent at the tournament is yet undetermined, but as the No. 11 seed it will play the 10:00 p.m. contest on Thursday.
"I'm really happy for our seniors to win their last game hear at Stegeman," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "Both teams seemed pretty fatigued here at the end of the season. We, especially, were both physically and emotionally fatigued from the quick turnaround on Thursday. We started slow and then Gerald got in a rhythm and we were able to make some plays off our defense, which allowed us to play with the lead most of the game."
Indeed, the Bulldogs needed needed almost eight minutes to score, the first bucket coming on a steal and layup from Robinson at the 12:17 mark of the first half. By then South Carolina (10-20, 2-14) had built a 10-0 margin. It took another long stretch before the Bulldogs were able to overtake the Gamecocks. Georgia took its first lead of the game on a Robinson 3-pointer, his third of the half, with 3:53 left, giving his team a 22-21 advantage.
Anthony Gill answered with a driving dunk on Carolina's next trip. Reserve guard Sherrard Brantley hit a 3-pointer on Georgia's ensuing possession -- the Bulldogs' fourth trey in five trips down the floor -- to put them ahead 25-23. They never trailed thereafter.
After South Carolina had trimmed its deficit to 35-33 early in the second half, Robinson started the Bulldogs' decisive push with a fast-breaking layup at the 14:21 mark. Georgia then built its lead as large as 14 points on two occasions, both times on free throws by Donte' Williams, the latter at 51-37 with 7:41 left.
Protecting its lead throughout the second half, Georgia shot 26 free throws in that final period, making 20 of them for 77 percent. The Bulldogs scored 19 of their last 23 points at the free-throw line. For the game they reached season highs in both free throws made (23) and attempted (34).
"We got off to a slow start, but on Senior Day there are a lot of emotions flying around," Robinson said. "We were able to settle down after a little while. We got a lot of support from the fans, as I have for my whole career here, and that helped us settle down and once we did we were able to focus on getting the win."