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December 18, 2011

Dawgs topple USC

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored a career-high 21 points, including two late free-throws, to propel the Georgia men's basketball team to a 63-59 victory over the USC Trojans at the Galen Center Saturday night.

Senior guards Gerald Robinson Jr. and Dustin Ware chipped in 17 and 12 points, respectively.

Caldwell-Pope also led Georgia on the board with five rebounds.

"I'm really proud of our guys," said head coach Mark Fox. "It was a hard-fought game and we beat a very, very good defensive team tonight. I thought we took a big step forward."

The first half was a defensive battle that contained five lead changes and three ties.

The Trojans led by as many as six points, but Georgia battled back to tie the game at 25 courtesy of a 7-2 run to end the half.

The Trojans, however, regained their lost ground early in the second half, holding a lead until Ware hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 51-51 with 4:38 remaining.

The Bulldogs took their first lead courtesy of a Donte' Williams dunk with 3:03 remaining.

After Caldwell-Pope hit a three-pointer to put Georgia up by four with under a minute to play, the Trojan's Alexis Moore gave USC new life with a three of his own bringing USC to within one, 60-59.

But that's as close as the Trojans would get.

Caldwell-Pope hit two critical free throws with just 19 seconds remaining to put Georgia up 62-59.

During USC's final possession, Robinson thwarted any final Trojan comeback, forcing a steal and dropping a free throw to put the Bulldogs up 63-59 with only one second remaining.

With the win, Georgia snaps a four-game losing streak and moves to 2-0 in its series against USC.

Georgia returns home to take on in-state foe Mercer Tuesday night at Stegemen Coliseum. Last season, the Bulldogs outlasted the Bears 56-53 in Macon. Tuesday's matchup is scheduled to start 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on CSS and ESPN3.



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