Dawgs' season ends with loss at SECs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Its midseason momentum thoroughly trampled, Georgia snuck out of the 2006 season in the middle of the night here Thursday.

In a game that didn't end until 11:47 p.m. Eastern time, the Bulldogs fell 80-67 to Arkansas in the first round of the SEC Tournament at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. It was Georgia's second straight loss to the Razorbacks and seventh in eight games overall.

Attendance for the tournament's second session was announced as 13,926, but at least half of that number had left before the end.

The Bulldogs (15-15) finished with seven more victories than in the woeful 8-20 season of a year ago, but their postseason fate almost certainly will be the same. When Georgia was 14-8 a month ago, it looked like an NIT bid was a given, but even that hope is all but gone now.

Arkansas (22-8) won its sixth straight and solidified its chance of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Razorbacks will play East No. 2 seed Florida today in a game scheduled to tip off at 9:45 p.m.

The Bulldogs led 16-15 after a Mike Mercer 3-pointer with 13:02 remaining in the first half but then hit one of the scoring droughts that plagued them all season. After Mercer's bucket, Georgia scored just two points in the next three minutes, 48 seconds while the Razorbacks ran out to a 28-18 lead.

The game got completely away from the Bulldogs during a five-minute, seven-second stretch in which they scored just two points. Arkansas took advantage and had a 21-point lead when Eric  Ferguson hit a 3-pointer from the wing with 12:32 remaining.

Freshman guard Mike Mercer led Georgia with 16 points. Leading scorer Levi Stukes had his third off night in the last four games, missing 8-of-11 shots and finishing with nine points. The Bulldogs shot 42.9 percent from the field overall.

Jonathon  Modica led the Razorbacks with 20 points, and Ronnie Brewer added 18.

Half of Georgia's 56 shots were 3-pointers, and it hit just 10-of-28 from long range. That willingness to settle for the easy shot kept them off the foul line, where they got just nine points on 14 attempts compared to the Razorbacks' 16 on 21.

The Bulldog didn't work much harder on defense as Arkansas committed just 15 turnovers to Georgia's 22.

The Bulldogs aren't expected to lose any contributors from this year's team. They already have signed 6-foot-10 center Albert Jackson of Oak Hill Academy to a scholarship and can sign one more player in the offseason.

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