Lexington, Ky.------The Georgia Bulldogs (13-2, 2-0) won in Rupp Arena tonight for just the second time in the program's history, 88-84. Jarvis Hayes' 30 points and Ezra Williams' 20 were enough for the Dogs to earn the win at the Wildcats' home for the first time since 1985.
"This was a great team win," said head coach Jim Harrick. "Jarvis and Steve Thomas guarded Tayshaun (Prince) all night and it starts with defense. Ezra stepped up all night and that is the Jarvis Hayes I know."
On February 24, 1985, the Bulldogs won here in Lexington 77-79, and in 1923, the Dogs earned a win when both schools were members of the old Southern Conference.
This was Georgia's 18th win in the series and it prevented the Cats from earning their 100th victory over Georgia.
Georgia trailed the entire first half and took the lead at 64-63 with 11:56 remaining in the contest when Jarvis Hayes connected on his fourth three-pointer of the game. The lead would change nine times in the final half with three ties.
Tony Cole iced the game with two free throws in the final seconds.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Saturday against Tennessee in Athens. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. ET and Fox Sports South will televise the contest.
Photo Caption: Georgia's Jarvis Hayes shows off his jersey as Kentucky players look on from the bench during the closing moments of Georgia's 88-84 upset win Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2002, in Lexington, Ky. Hayes led all players with 30 points in the game. The loss marked the second in a week for eighth-ranked Kentucky, who now goes to 0-2 in the SEC. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)
Georgia Head Coach Jim Harrick
On the differences in the two halves...
"Certainly this was a great game to watch. The first half was a track-meet shoot-out. From our standpoint, I thought we turned the ball over and they got in the passing lanes and shot a lot of lay-ups. We were reaching and gambling and they were going inside of us. They shot 62 percent. We had to hopefully stop that. I thought we stopped turning the ball over and didn't give them a break-away lay-up. Then we got back in there and tried to contain the inside and guard the basket. You have to guard the basket, I learned that in third grade at the YMCA."
On the UGA second-half defense...
"From our standpoint I thought that Steve Thomas was strong on (Tayshaun) Prince in the second half. I think Rashad (Wright) kept Cliff Hawkins out of the key and that's a huge play because he's a terrific player. Every game I watched he just got in there and killed them. We kind of contained him tonight."
On what helped UGA secure the win...
"We got a strong performance from Jonas Hayes, Jarvis Hayes and Ezra Williams tonight. We played solid, fundamental basketball in the second half and I thought our defense was outstanding in the second half."
On what the basis of the UGA offense is...
"We try to score, get fouled or get a great look at the basket every time down the court. If you make the extra pass, sometimes that will happen for you."
On how the UGA offense overcame the UK defense...
"We are trying to execute and make the extra pass. They do a lot of switching and two or three times we caught them on a switch. It's hard to switch (Cliff) Hawkins on Jarvis (Hayes) and (Ezra) Williams because he has size on them. I don't know if we did anything in particular to them, we just executed our offense. We just tried to get a good look. They are a fine defensive team and they are very aggressive."
On what this win means to UGA...
"I am not sure. We haven't won many times up here. You have to fight for respect when you are Georgia and you want your program to do well."
On the balance in the SEC...
"I think there is a lot of parity in the conference. I said early on that Kentucky and Florida were head and shoulders above everyone else. There is about nine of us clumped together. Who is going to come out of that nine I don't know."
GEORGIA PLAYER QUOTES
#24 Jarvis Hayes G/F
On Georgia's confidence...
"We knew coming in it was going to be tough. We knew with the crowd on their side that we would have to come in and make a statement. I think we did."
On preparing for the game...
"During the past couple practices I have been working really hard and taking extra shots to prepare for the game. I think tonight I was ready to step in and help the team a little more."
On the team's attitude in the closing minutes...
"There was no doubt in our minds in those last minutes. We knew we were going to win. We just had to finish it. I think this win tonight was hard earned and well deserved for our team."
#50 Chris Daniels F
On tonight's game...
"We came and played hard and our main focus was to stop Prince and Hawkins. Coach told us before the game that they were key playmakers. Since we controlled them the first and second half we were able to pull the game out."
On winning in Rupp Arena...
"It's always a thrill to win here especially because of Kentucky's tradition. It was a big confidence thing since it was our first time winning here in a long time. We just have to enjoy it and come out and work hard tomorrow."
On the conference win...
"It does a lot for us even if it was just our second SEC game. It puts us in good standing because they were probably picked to win the SEC East and this gives us a little bit of respect."
|Georgia 88, Kentucky 84|
Percentages: FG-.541, FT-.706.
3-Point Goals: 10-23, .435 (Ja Hayes 4-8, Williams 6-10, Dean 0-2, Cole 0-2, Patrick 0-1).
Team rebounds: 1.
Blocked shots: 5 (Thomas 4, Williams).
Turnovers: 16 (Thomas 4, Wright 4, Williams 3, Cole 2, Daniels, Ja Hayes, Jo Hayes).
Steals: 7 (Williams 2, Wright 2, Daniels, Ja Hayes, Patrick).
Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.636.
3-Point Goals: 5-17, .294 (Prince 1-4, Hawkins 0-2, Fitch 2-4, Bogans 0-3, R Carruth 1-3, Hayes 1-1).
Team rebounds: 2.
Blocked shots: 4 (Camara 3, Prince).
Turnovers: 11 (Bogans 3, Fitch 2, Camara, Daniels, Estill, Hawkins, Prince, R Carruth).
Steals: 12 (Fitch 4, Hawkins 3, Camara 2, Bogans, Prince, R Carruth).
Technical fouls: None.
Officials: Ted Hillary, Robert Donato, Robert Adams