Kentucky 74, Georgia 69
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) _ Guard Ed Davender led a balanced Kentucky scoring attack with 15 points as the 11th-ranked Wildcats downed stubborn Georgia 74-69 in Southeastern Conference basketball Thursday night.
Kentucky improved to 15-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play while Georgia fell to 10-6 and 3-4.
Kentucky opened up a 55-31 lead on guard Paul Andrews’ baseline jumper with 15:35 left in the game, and appeared to have everything under control.
But Georgia, behind the shooting of forward Willie Anderson, rallied to within 59-50 at 8:53. Anderson hit four baskets during the 19-4 spurt.
The Bulldogs had a chance to draw even closer, but Anderson and forward Chad Kessler both missed the front end of bonus free-throw tries.
Forward Winston Bennett then banked in a 10-footer and Davender hit two free throws to widen Kentucky’s margin to 63-50 with 7:06 to go. Georgia got no closer than the final margin, scoring the final eight points of the game.
Bennett finished with 14 points, followed by guard James Blackmon with 12 and forward Kenny Walker with 11.
Anderson topped Georgia with 14 points, while forwards Horace McMillan added 12 and Joe Ward 11.
Kentucky raced out to an 8-0 lead on guard Roger Harden’s 20-footer with 17:28 left in the first half, and never looked back.
Consecutive baskets by McMillan, guard Patrick Hamilton and Kessler moved Georgia to within 18-12 at 9:46, but Kentucky countered with six straight points to open a 24-12 advantage 2:44 later.
Kentucky went on to a 43-27 halftime lead, with 17 of the points coming from the free-throw line on 21 attempts.