Dawgs drop a late one to Bama

ATHENS -- Damien Wilkins gave Alabama a sliver of hope Wednesday night, and Antoine Pettway took advantage.

Antoine Pettway hit a 3-pointer from the left side with 1.6 seconds remaining to lift the Crimson Tide past the Bulldogs 45-42 in front of 8,088 in Stegeman Coliseum.

Alabama tied the score 42-42 on a Kennedy Winston jump shot with 33.6 seconds left. The Bulldogs had a chance to hold the ball for one shot, but Wilkins, a senior, pulled up from the foul line with 12 seconds left. His jump shot missed the rim and putback attempts by Levi Stukes and Jonas Hayes also failed.

"We took the shot too early," point guard Rashad Wright said. "We wanted one shot. That's what you're supposed to do."

The Bulldogs fell to 9-6 overall and 1-3 in the SEC.

"We wanted to take the last shot," Coach Dennis Felton said. "That's what should have happened. The worst that should have happened was we should have been tied. That wasn't a real good decision."

Gerald Wilkins defended his shot selection but not his overall performance.

"Maybe it was a bad shot, I don't know," he said. "If it would have went in, I don't know if it would have been a bad shot. I thought it was a pretty good look. Coach said he would have taken more time off the clock, and that's probably the thing to do."

Wilkins finished with four points on 1 of 10 shooting and also had seven turnovers.

"I was doing stuff all night to put my team in position to lose," he said. "It was a constant struggle."

Offense was a struggle for both teams. Georgia had its fewest points since a 64-40 loss to Kentucky in 1984. It was the Bulldogs' lowest home output since a 42-34 win over Louisiana Tech in 1977. Georgia hadn't been held to fewer points at home since the 1946-47 season.

Wright led the Bulldogs with 14 points, and freshman Levi Stukes had 11 points.

"For the most part, it was a struggle to get anything done offensively," Wilkins said. "It was a fight out there."

Both teams had more turnovers than field goals. Georgia hit 15 of 46 shots (32.6 percent) and had 19 turnovers. Alabama hit 16 of 44 shots (36.4 percent) and also turned the ball over 19 times. The first points of the game came from Hayes with 15:24 left in the first half.

But Pettway hit the shot that mattered, pushing Alabama to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in the league despite an 8:01 stretch in the second half in which it didn't have a field goal. Pettway, who led Alabama with 11 points, hit his decisive shot over Wright.

"I know he (Wright) wanted to keep me in front of him," Pettway said. "I knew it was good when it left my hand."

Still, he conceded, "It was one of the ugliest games of the year."

"It was a gut-wrenching one to lose," Felton said. "I was really, really proud of our players' effort."

Felton was particularly pleased the Bulldogs didn't allow their offensive struggles to negatively impact their defense.

"I actually think we made another step forward tonight in looking like the team we need to be," he said.

Dawg Post Top Stories