Dawgs roll past Southern 97-37

ATHENS - Reserve guard Billy Humphrey scored a career-best 23 points, including a 7-of-8 effort from 3-point range, to pace Georgia past Southern 97-37 in each team's basketball season opener here Friday night.

Four other Georgia players joined Humphrey in double figures, including fellow sophomores Mike Mercer (21 points) and Rashaad Singleton, whose 14 points were also a career best.

The Bulldogs (1-0) sprinted into the lead by scoring the game's first six points. Later in the first half, they tacked on scoring runs of 16-0 and 12-0. By the time Singleton had scored his last bucket of the first half with 1:06 left, Georgia had built its advantage to 50-12.

"We were successful at what we set out to do," said Georgia coach Dennis Felton. "Our goal was to be dominant on defense and we were. We wanted to have them shoot in the 30 percent range, but they ended up shooting 17 percent. We were all over the court tonight. We played with a great amount of energy."

Georgia never led by fewer than 38 points in the second half. The Bulldogs built their largest lead of 60 points with their last bucket of the game, a 3-point play by freshman Albert Jackson with 1:09 left. Two subsequent possessions to reach the 100-point mark failed.

Georgia plays host to Western Kentucky on Tuesday night in its next basketball game.

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