Dawgs scratch out win - move to 4-3

ATHENS – It had been almost a week since Georgia played its last basketball game. That game, an upset win over Oregon State, was followed by a week of finals. Wofford, on the other hand played less than 24 hours ago – a win over Charleston Southern.

Perhaps the back-to-back contests cost the Terriers, too. They fell in Athens 93-89 after an exhaustive contest in which both teams had a chance to put the game away, but never seemed to until after an extra session of basketball.

Wofford shot lights out to start the game and by the end of the first half had a nine point lead thanks to deadly three-point shooting and good post play. Wofford shot a precise 64% from downtown in the first half.

Georgia, off perhaps its best performance of the season looked unprepared for Wofford's slick post players as Dave Bliss and Steve Newman tumbled into foul trouble well before they should have.

Howard Wilkerson, a 6-6 junior, was far too crafty for Georgia's post players. He finished the game with 28 points. Even when Wilkerson was slowed and was forced to pass the ball, Wofford's guards nailed three-pointers with pin-point precision.

In the second half, the Bulldogs clawed their way back to within two points of the Wofford lead on a Matt Womack lay-up. Georgia, a team that must defend well in order to compete, was relying on its offense to win the game.

"Scoring had been a challange for us this year," said Head Coach Dennis Felton following the game.

Steve Newman, of all players, stepped up and nailed a three with 5:03 in the contest to tie the game at 71. Then, after a Wofford lay-up by Wilkerson, Levi Stukes threw up what appeared to be a forced three pointer – but it went down and the Dawgs took their first lead of the game at 74-73.

Wofford took the lead back after a series of free throws and two more Wilkerson lay-ups. The game looked over when Byron Fields nailed, appropriately, a three-pointer.

But Georgia fought back at the end of the contest. The game should have been sealed by Wofford but pathetic shooting from the charity stripe gave the Dawgs their chance. After a Wofford free throw miss and with only moments remaining in regulation, the Bulldogs worked the ball around the perimeter and Channing Toney nailed a three to tie the game and send it to overtime. The game was Toney's best scoring effort of the season (24). His old high school teammates were sitting in the stands to watch his impressive showing.

"Channing did tonight what he can do," said Felton. "It is a matter of maturing. He has been progressing - inching forward - most of the season."

But Georgia was without Toney and Bliss for most of overtime because they both fouled out. That's when Wofford seemed to get momentum because of Wilkerson's diligence down low. But horrid free throws did Wofford in.

"Obviously we got some help because they didn't shoot as well as they normally do from the free throw line," said Felton.

The Terriers had a chance to take the lead with :21 left in overtime but Adrien Borders missed two free throws. Steve Newman then knocked Wofford out with a pair of free throws to make the final 93-89.


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