Georgia got a much needed road win and found some of its old form in defeating Ole Miss 76-72.
The Bulldogs led almost the entire game, though the lead oscillated between large and small a fair bit early. UGA closed the first half with an 11-2 run to take an 11-point halftime lead, and they were able to hold that lead for a good chunk of the second half too. A pair of Charles Mann free throws put the lead at 10 with 7:29 to go in the game, but the Rebels made a run from there.
Ole Miss went on a 12-4 run over the next three minutes to cut the lead to two with four minutes to go. UGA went on a 10-2 run of its own to push the lead back to double digits with just over a minute to go. The Rebels made some shots down the stretch to keep pushing on Georgia, but UGA made six-of-eight free throws in that final minute to keep Ole Miss and arm's reach and seal the victory.
The most encouraging aspect for the Bulldogs was that Marcus Thornton returned to his old form with 18 points and 13 rebounds. He finally seems back, and the entire team is healing up well for the final run. Kenny Gaines led all scorers with 22 for the Bulldogs, shooting over 50% from the field on the night, and Nemanja Djurisic contributed 17 points of his own.
Stefan Moody led the Rebels in scoring, as he so often does, with 19 points on the night. He did not shoot a good percentage, and just like in the first game between the teams, he had a poor night from three (2-of-11 this time). Jarvis Summers put in 13 points, while Sebastian Saiz had a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards.
It was an important win for Georgia, which had been sliding towards the bubble line in the past two weeks. Not only is beating Ole Miss good in and of itself, it's a road win to boot. It was a result that bodes well for the SEC in its quest for securing six bids in the Big Dance. Ole Miss is probably kicking itself for not showing up better for this one and losing in a similar fashion to the first game between these teams, but it's not going to hurt them as far as the NCAA Tournament goes.