USCollapse: UGA Takes on Cats

NASHVILLE - J.J. Frazier’s late game heroics led Georgia to a 65-64 comeback win against South Carolina Friday night in the Southeastern Conference Tournament Quarterfinals.

Frazier broke a double team near mid-court tying the score at 64-64 as time ran down on the shot clock and then stole the ball on South Carolina’s next possession with 2.1 seconds left in the game, while drawing a foul to earn a shot at the free throw line to win the game. The junior buried his first attempt, securing the win for the Bulldogs.

With the win Georgia (19-12, 10-8) is now 58-50 all-time with USC (24-8, 11-7).  The Bulldogs defeated South Carolina three different times this season.

Frazier led the Bulldogs with 20 points, marking his 12th game this season with at least 20 points. Yante Maten added 17 points of his own and 12 rebounds.

“That was a very good game against a terrific South Carolina team,” head coach Mark Fox said. “A team that was playing without one of their best players and a team that I think belongs in the NCAA tournament. It was a battle. We didn’t start the game well and credit goes to the South Carolina defense. They had us rattled, but we battled back and showed great resiliency.”

Both teams struggled to find success on the offensive end in the first five minutes as the Bulldogs trailed 5-2. The Gamecocks jumped out to a 16-11 lead with seven minutes to go and extended their lead to 11 with three minutes left in the half. Georgia ended the half on a strong note, cutting South Carolina’s lead to 29-26 at the break. Maten led Georgia in the first period with seven points.

Georgia cut the Gamecock’s lead to six early on in the second half, but South Carolina answered with a run extending its lead to 11. Guards Charles Mann and Frazier made things interesting scoring five points to narrow the score to 45-43 and tied things up with nine minutes to go after Frazier scored on a run out. Both teams got things rolling the next five minutes as South Carolina took a 59-56 lead into the final media timeout. Georgia took its first lead of the half at the 3:03 mark with a free throw from Mann. Frazier stole the show in the final seconds of the game to put the Bulldogs on top.

The Bulldogs will face second-seeded Kentucky tomorrow afternoon in SEC Tournament Semifinal action following the conclusion of the Texas A&M LSU matchup.

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