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December 23, 2011Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led four double-figure scorers with 17 points as Georgia posted its third straight victory by defeating Furman 64-50 here Friday night.
The Bulldogs (7-5) also got 13 points from Gerald Robinson Jr. and 10 from Donte' Williams. Dustin Ware came off the bench and added 11 points. Ware, in fact, ignited an impressive display of shooting for Georgia, which finished the game with 49 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range, and 94 percent from the free-throw line. After making their first 16 tries, the Bulldogs' John Cannon misfired from the line on their last attempt with 31 seconds left.
''That was a good win,'' Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "Our team executed very well tonight. They shared the ball a lot and played very unselfishly on offense. You have to credit our defense as well. They played very well in the first half and their play led to a lot of easy baskets in the second half."
The victory was not without its costs, however. Sophomore Marcus Thornton, Georgia's leading rebounder this season, went out with a knee injury of undetermined severity with 12:58 left in the first half. He did not return.
It was after Thornton's exit that Georgia began to put measurable distance between itself and Furman (6-6). The Bulldogs strung together nine straight points to break a 9-9 tie and take command of the game. Robinson started the run with a layup at the 12:22 mark. Williams capped it on an emphatic dunk with 9:58 left in the first half. In between were a Ware 3-pointer and two foul shots by Connor Nolte.
Georgia got its first double-figure lead on another layup by Robinson with 6:19 left, pushing the margin to 24-13. It eventually grew as large as 32-17 on a Caldwell-Pope layup with 4:18 remaining.
The Bulldogs appeared to have matters firmly in hand when Caldwell-Pope scored yet another layup with 14:37 left in the game, boosting its lead to 43-27. Furman, however, countered with 3-pointers on three straight possessions, to get back within reach. Jordan Loyd's trey capped the Paladins' 9-0 run and got them within 43-36.
Caldwell-Pope restored solid footing for the Bulldogs with back-to-back layups, the first off his own block and the second off his own steal. Thereafter, Georgia grew its largest lead of 19 points on three separate occasions, lastly on a short jumper by Williams at the 3:43 mark, giving the Bulldogs a 64-45 margin.
After a short break for the Christmas holiday, the Bulldogs will return to action next Tuesday at home against Winthrop. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.