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November 27, 2009Georgia coach Mark Fox is all for his team finishing game's strong.
But ultimately, he'd like it to start quickly from time to time so to avoid such close calls like what happened Friday night against Jacksonville State, a team the Bulldogs struggled to beat 67-64.
The win improved Georgia's record to 3-2, while Jacksonville State fell to 2-3 on the year.
"I was disappointed with our team's approach when we got to the gym today," Fox said. "But fortunately, we have matured in the last couple of weeks and were able to battle back, play from behind and make some plays to come back and win the game."
Georgia scuffled early, trailing by as many as 11 points in the first half before rallying back in the second half.
The Bulldogs' largest lead was a six-point advantage with 7:39 left in the game, one of six lead changes on the evening.
Georgia outscored Jacksonville State 46-35 in the second half.
"We beat a well-coached, hard-nosed team tonight, but we have to start playing better basketball," Fox said. "We played much harder in the second half. We were much better defensively and used a set that we had not yet been able to put in and our kids took advantage of it, picked it up quickly, and gave us enough momentum to get the lead back."
Trey Thompkins led the Bulldogs with 19 points, seven rebounds and blocked two shots while senior guard Ricky McPhee finished in double figures for the second consecutive games, finishing with 16 points and eight boards.
Sophomore guard Travis Leslie equaled McPhee's 16 points and pulled down five rebounds. Jay-R Strowbridge led the Gamecocks with 16 points.
Georgia returns to action Wednesday against St. Louis before traveling to Virginia Tech (Dec. 6.) and New York City on Dec. 9 to take on St. John's at Madison Square Garden.