Georgia beats Oregon State - now finals

ATLANTA — Now Georgia knows what it's going to take to beat a major conference opponent.

The Bulldogs got career days from two players Saturday afternoon in Philips Arena and beat Oregon State 76-74 in overtime for their first significant win of the season.

Sophomores Levis Stukes and Steve Newman each scored career highs as Georgia evened its record at 3-3 overall. Stukes led the way with 31, including a 3-pointer with 1:50 left in overtime to give the Bulldogs a 71-70 lead they wouldn't relenquish.

"It was just another opportunity for me to step up my leadership role," Stukes said. "It was my time to hit a big shot for us."

Georgia freshman Sundiata Gaines hit the second biggest shot of the game, tying the score at 65-65 with a leaning, 15-foot jump shot as the regulation buzzer sounded.

Oregon State junior Nick DeWitz missed an off balance layup as the overtime clock expired. The Beavers fell to 4-3.

"My heart skipped a beat when he got that look at it," Coach Dennis Felton said. "It hung on the rim in such a way that, for a second, I thought we were going to double overtime."

"It's definitely a big win, playing against a big school," Newman said. "We played poised down the stretch, and it got us to .500. Hopefully, things will start rolling from here."

Stukes tied his career-high of 25 with a free throw at the 12:17 mark of the second half. He said he spent the last two days of practice focusing on pivoting off the correct foot, something he struggled with in the first five games.

"I did it tonight, and a lot of shot I usually miss were going in," he said.

Stukes was 10 of 18 from the floor, including 4 of 7 from behind the 3-point line, and added four rebounds.

"I'd like to think our team offense was a little better so he got some better looks, but a lot of it was just him performing at a high level and making shots," Felton said.

Stukes played all 45 minutes of the game even though he bruised his hip late in overtime.

"He's expected to be the fiercest of our guys," Felton said. "This has just got to be considered another day at the office for Levi."

Newman scored all of his 16 points in the second half.

"Things started going my way in the second half," said Newman, who finished 5 of 8 from the floor, with five rebounds, four assists and no turnovers.

Gaines, who had 17 points and five assists, tied the game at at the end of regulation when he went the length of the floor with six seconds left for an unassisted basket. The plan was for Gaines to go hard to the rim and kick it out to an open teammate.

"He decided, ‘I'm going down the floor and scoring,'" Felton said. "There's not a thing wrong with that. That's why I wanted the ball in his hands."

The Bulldogs trailed 36-26 after the first half but took a 49-47 lead with 12:26 remaining when Newman hit a driving jumper and a free throw.

"I think we made a major step forward in developing the type of personality we want all of our teams to have, and that's tenacity and toughness," Felton said.

Oregon State coach Jay John credited the Bulldogs' defense for their second half comeback. Georgia had 14 steals.

"The steals created layups, and, once the lid comes off the basket, jump shots start going in," he said.

The Beavers got just five points from leading scorer Sasa Cuic. He played just 19 minutes and fouled out in the first minute of overtime.

The Bulldogs and Beavers were featured in the first half of a double-header for the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Classic for Kids. The crowd for their game didn't rise above 1,000 until fans started to trickle in for the Georgia Tech-Air Force game.

Georgia now takes a week off for final exams before returning to a four-game stretch of winnable games. The Bulldogs will take on Wofford, Bethune-Cookman, Savannah State and Stetson in Stegeman Coliseum between Dec. 19 and Dec. 31.

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