Dawgs Fall to Carolina

ATHENS – Before Georgia took to the court for the final time at Stegeman Coliseum this season, interim coach Pete Herrmann offered some advice to senior Terrance Woodbury.

Through four chaotic seasons, Woodbury has been a rare constant, and Herrmann knew his senior would want to go out with a strong performance.

"I tried to tell him before the game to just relax, but he was so pumped to do well in front of everybody," Herrmann said.

Just four days removed from a 30-point performance in an upset win over Kentucky, Woodbury said goodbye to the home fans with one of his worst shooting days, and the rest of the Bulldogs weren't much better as Georgia dropped its regular-season finale to South Carolina 68-51 on Saturday.

Woodbury was just 4-of-21 shooting, including a 0-for-7 mark from 3, to finish with nine points. As a team, the Bulldogs shot just 27 percent for the game and were 4-of-22 from long range.

"It comes down to making shots, and nobody could make shots," Woodbury said. "I got a lot of wide-open shots that wouldn't go down. I got a lot of lay-ups that I couldn't finish. Free throws, I'm supposed to knock them down, and I couldn't hit those. It was just an off night."

Georgia kept things close for most of the first 30 minutes, trailing by four at halftime and eight with 12:30 to play. South Carolina guard Devan Downey was masterful in controlling the tempo on both ends of the floor, however, and the Bulldogs went the next seven minutes with just one field goal to help the Gamecocks pull away.

Downey had 12 of South Carolina's 27 first-half points and finished with a game-high 23 points and eight assists. Zam Fredrick added 15 for the Gamecocks and Evaldas Baniulis chipped in with 11.

"Devin really controlled the game," Herrmann said. "He took time off the clock, managed the game, got himself in deep and gave himself the option to get it to guys like Biniulis, who can really shoot it. I thought Devin Downey really played terrific."

A sparse crowd filled Stegeman Colisuem to witness the final game for Woodbury and fellow senior Corey Butler, with vocal Gamecocks fans filling a large portion of the arena. It was an all-too-familiar scene for the Bulldogs, who will enter the SEC tournament for the second straight year as the worst team in the Eastern Division.

A year ago, Georgia ended its regular season with an embarrassing home loss to Mississippi but looked like a different team in the SEC tournament, winning four straight games. Their performance Saturday wasn't one Woodbury wanted to remember, but after earning surprising wins against Florida, Vanderbilt and Kentucky in the past month, he said there was reason to believe the team could turn things around in the postseason once again.

"It was a struggle, but we persevered," he said. "We could have quit a long time ago, but to do what we've done the last two weeks as far as winning games, I feel like that's going to carry us into the SEC tournament."

After a dreadful season in which Georgia endured its longest losing streak in more than three decades and saw its head coach fired midway through the year, the lessons of last year's tournament run still remain fresh.

So while Saturday marked the final game Butler and Woodbury would play in Athens, both said they are confident they have a few more games left in their college careers.

"It's a new life, a new season," Butler said of the SEC tournament. "You can start off fresh no matter how your regular season went. If you can just go undefeated for four games, you're at the top of the conference just like that. Just like last year."

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