Frazier's late scoring lifts Georgia past Tennessee, 56-53
Feb. 07, 2015
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia's J.J. Frazier found his shooting touch with time to make an impact with three 3-pointers.
Tennessee's Josh Richardson couldn't end his scoring drought until the final minute — too late to save the Vols.
Frazier scored 10 points, all in the final 11 minutes, and Georgia overcame turnover problems to edge Tennessee 56-53 on Saturday.
"I was missing bad early and I had to try to find my rhythm again," Frazier said.
Georgia (15-7, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) snapped a two-game losing streak despite matching its season high with 20 turnovers.
Tennessee's aggressive zone defense forced Georgia to push the ball inside — which accelerated the Bulldogs' turnover rate. The Vols' defense was especially effective in negating the impact of Frazier, who was scoreless until sinking his first 3-pointer with 10:28 remaining.
Frazier added two more 3s in the next two minutes. His third 3 gave Georgia a 51-42 lead.
Frazier, who scored a career-high 37 points at Mississippi State on Jan. 24, ranks second in the league with his 48.8 percent shooting on 3s in conference games.
Tennessee (13-9, 5-5) has lost two straight and four of five.
After a free throw by Tennessee's Kevin Punter with seven seconds remaining cut the Georgia lead to three points, the Vols rebounded his missed second free throw. Richardson missed a potential tying 3-pointer.
There was a scramble for the rebound near the Tennessee bench as time expired, and Georgia's Charles Mann slowly left the court holding his head.
Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall was hoping for a 3-pointer — or a chance for three free throws — on Richardson's shot.
"I kind of wish Josh had leaned into the contact and not away from it," Tyndall said. "But the kids played hard. It literally came down to the last possession."
Richardson, who leads the Vols with 16.2 points per game, had only two points. He was 0 for 11 from the field before finally scoring with 30 seconds remaining. It was only the third time this season the senior has not scored in double figures.
Mann and Nemanja Djurisic had 10 points apiece for Georgia. Mann had six turnovers.
Armani Moore led the Vols with 16 points. Robert Hubbs III had 15 and Punter had 10.
A tip-in by Hubbs with 1:46 remaining brought Tennessee to within three points at 53-30. Following a miss near the basket by Marcus Thornton, Tennessee called timeout with 1:14 remaining. While moving with the ball, Moore slipped and was called for traveling.
Georgia stretched the lead to five points on a jam by Djurisic, who was left open as the Vols' defense swarmed the ball on the perimeter.
Tennessee: The Vols fell to 3-2 in SEC road games. ... The Vols are 0-3 in Athens since their last win at Georgia on Jan. 18, 2011. ... Willie Carmichael, limited by foul trouble to only eight minutes, had two points and no rebounds.
Georgia: With eight points in the first half, Djurisic reached 1,000 for his career. ... Juwan Parker missed his sixth straight game with a left Achilles injury. ... Mark Fox earned his 100th win at Georgia. He is 100-84 in six seasons.
Thornton had eight points in his return after missing two games with a concussion. He had not been practicing while on concussion protocol. Georgia lost both games — at South Carolina and at No. 1 Kentucky — without Thornton.
"It was certainly good to have him back, and it made us much more efficient offensively," Fox said.
With a RPI of 24, Georgia currently is included in many early NCAA tournament projections. Tyndall called Georgia "a nice team. They've got an inside attack, an outside attack and they played really hard and defended the right way."
Tennessee: At Vanderbilt on Wednesday.
Georgia: At Texas A&M on Wednesday.