Georgia caps season sweep of UK

Kentucky dropped a 78-69 decision to Georgia on Saturday in Athens...

ATHENS, Ga. --- Ezra Williams scored 20 points and Jarvis Hayes added 19 Saturday as the Georgia Bulldogs completed their first season sweep of Kentucky in 15 years and only their fifth in the history of the series.

"It's been a real emotional week," said Williams, who lost his brother, Antwonne, in a shooting incident last Saturday in Atlanta. "I spent a lot of time with my family and some of them were at the game today. I had to focus on basketball. That's what my brother would have wanted me to do.

"I wasn't going to let us lose the game."

Georgia (19-7, 8-5 SEC) gradually pulled away from a 32-32 tie at the half by putting up 46 points against the Wildcats' touted defense in the second period. Williams scored 14 of his points after the break, and Chris Daniels --- who was serving a first-half suspension for his role in an altercation at Auburn --- sparked the Bulldogs with eight points and seven rebounds in the final 20 minutes.

Steve Thomas added 16 points and 12 rebounds for No. 21 Georgia, but it was defense --- or the Cats' offensive ineptitude --- that proved to be key.

Kentucky shot an abysmal 36 percent (25 of 70) on the day and misfired on 22 of 28 attempts from long range.

"We ran our offense awfully well in the second half, but we won with our defense," Georgia coach Jim Harrick said.

"The story of the game was we didn't make shots," UK coach Tubby Smith said. "I don't know what it is... We're just taking ourselves out of it by shooting ourselves out of it."

Georgia took a 50-42 lead at the 12:52 mark of the second half on a jumper by Daniels, a pair of free throws by Williams, and a runout jam by Rashad Wright. The Cats closed within 61-59 at the 5:00 mark on a 3-pointer by Cliff Hawkins and free throws by Tayshaun Prince, but came up empty on their next trip with a chance to tie and could not regain their composure.

Kentucky made just one field goal from the 5:52 mark to just 14 seconds remaining in the game. They closed the first half in similar fashion, making only one basket in the final 7:50.

"It's pretty discouraging," Smith said. "We haven't been able to get our clutch guys to play up to their potential."

Gerald Fitch and Prince each scored 17 to lead No. 10 Kentucky (17-7, 7-5 SEC). Marquis Estill added 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Cats, who were beaten on the boards once again (47-43).  UK starting guards Hawkins and Keith Bogans combined to go 4-for-20 from the field and scored only 11 points.


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