Georgia freshman point guard Dustin Ware had one of the best performances of his young career against Tennessee, including two big first-half 3-pointers that helped the Bulldogs close an 11-point deficit to four before halftime.
"I was pretty excited when he was shooting those 3s in the corner in the first half," senior Corey Butler said. "That kept us in the game."
Ware chipped in with five points in the second half – including his third 3-pointer of the game – to finish with 11 points, his second-best performance of the season, and had just one turnover. His strong number helped Georgia to a 29-11 scoring edge off the bench.
"I felt the team needed a little bit of energy, so I tried to be that spark coming in," Ware said. "It led to a couple buckets, so I'm just doing whatever the team needs."
HITTING FROM THE STRIPE
Georgia entered Saturday's game converting on just 62 percent of its free throws for the season, but the Bulldogs struggles from the line seemed a distant memory in the early going against Tennessee.
Georgia hit on 15 of its first 17 free throws in the game and finished 21-of-29 for the game, tying its season high for points from the line.
"I think a lot of it is just being focused," Ware said. "We need those points. The clock stops, free buckets from the line, we definitely need those, especially in the SEC."
BIG MAN, LITTLE NUMBERS
Georgia center Albert Jackson struggled mightily in his 14 minutes on the court Saturday.
The 6-foot-10 junior missed on both his shots and finished without a rebound while turning the ball over four times.
Head coach Dennis Felton said his game plan does not always revolve around Jackson dominating the boards, but he was surprised by the lack of rebounds against the Volunteers.
"A lot of times when Albert doesn't have standout rebounding numbers, it's because he's so busy keeping one of their primary rebounders off the glass and letting teammates swoop in and get the rebounds," Felton said. "Without watching tape, maybe it had more to do with Albert not being aggressive enough.