Dec. 27, 2011
ATHENS -- Gerald Robinson scored 22 points and helped rally Georgia from the brink of defeat, as the Bulldogs outlasted Winthrop 92-86 in overtime here Tuesday night.
Robinson, who matched his career high in this game, scored six points in the final 22 seconds of regulation. Most important of these was a court-length drive and layup with 2.6 seconds left that knotted the score at 76.
With 21 seconds left, Winthrop's Matt Morgan had given the Eagles a seemingly safe lead of 74-69 on two foul shots. Robinson, however, drove aggressively to the basket, scored and was fouled. He missed the free throw, prompting the Bulldogs to foul Morgan again, this time with 15 seconds left.
Morgan made one of two shots and Georgia (8-5) countered with a Dustin Ware 3-pointer with 11 ticks left. Georgia fouled Derrick Henry on the ensuing inbounds play and he, too, made one of two free throws, giving Winthrop a 76-74 lead.
Robinson took the inbounds pass from Nemanja Djurisic and drove full speed for a layup that was goal-tended by Winthrop with just 2.6 seconds left, tying the count at 76.
"I'd first like to say that Winthrop deserved to win the game," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "We may have had our best shooting percentage of the season, but we also allowed the most points we have all season. I'm not particularly pleased with our defensive effort, but (Andre) Jones was terrific. We didn't decide to start guarding him until late in the game, and for that we are very fortunate to win."
In the extra period, Georgia took the lead on its first possession with Ware's third 3-pointer of the game. The Bulldogs tallied just one field goal thereafter, a Donte Williams outback dunk that gave them an 86-78 lead with 2:16 left. Georgia scored the remainder of its 16 overtime points from the free-throw line, sinking 11 of 15 tries as it protected the lead.
Winthrop's Jones led all scorers with 33 points, making 10 of 15 field-goal attempts and all nine of his free throws. He scored 16 of his points in the second half, when the Eagles rallied from an 11-point deficit to take command in the final four minutes. Twice Georgia built double-digit leads in the second half, the latter at 46-35 on a layup by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Jones, however, sank a 3-pointer with 2:33 left that gave Winthrop its first lead since the first half at 64-62. The Eagles kept the lead until Robinson's dramatic, tying bucket in the final seconds of regulation.
Winthrop had also taken command in the early stages of the game, scoring the first seven points and keeping its lead until the final minutes of the half. Vincent Williams gave Georgia its first lead of the game at 21-19 on a layup with 9:21 left before halftime. The lead changed hands six more times before a pair of Bulldog baskets in the final minute gave them a 34-30 lead at intermission.
Georgia returns to action this Friday when it wraps up its non-conference schedule by playing host to Delaware State at 2:00 p.m.