ATHENS – Explosive revival games from Braelen Bridges and Kario Oquendo were not enough to top Ole Miss in a 78-74 decision.

Bridges exploded for a career-high 26 points with 11 rebounds and a steal on Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum. It was his third double-double this season.

Oquendo added 19 points with 5 rebounds.

The Bulldogs (14-10, 4-7 SEC) stayed close behind the Rebels (10-14, 2-9), but could never take a lead in the game’s last three minutes.

It was failing to rebound defensively that ultimately killed Georgia’s comeback chances.

The Bulldogs could not take possession after a Rebel miss with 20 seconds remaining trailing 71-70.

Ole Miss’ Matthew Murrell, who was fouled on a second chance shot, gave his team a 72-70 lead before missing his second free throw. The Bulldogs failed to rebound Murrell’s miss and instead fouled him again.

Murrell sank his next two free throws, giving Ole Miss the four-point lead it needed to keep Georgia in its rearview mirror.

The Rebels also scored 19 second chance points, compared to UGA’s 9.

“Our physicality on the interior, our finishing of stops, our defensive rebounding, again, at the foul line,” Georgia coach Mike White said. “All of those are factors. Our shot-blocking and altering, our protection of the rim, those are all weaknesses for us.”

Oquendo and Bridges, Georgia’s only two returners to start over half the games this season, exploded for a combined 45 points.

The two veterans had been far from their best the last couple of weeks.

Oquendo shot just 7 of 29 from the floor in his last four games and Bridges scored a total of 11 points during that span.

Those two Bulldogs got back to their scoring ways when their offense needed them most, as their leading scorer in Terry Roberts missed his second straight game with a concussion.

Justin Hill provided some encouragement as well, scoring 13 points and dishing 7 assists with a steal and just one turnover.

“The first thing I look at with our point guards is that seven to one (assist to turnover ratio),” White said. “He was really vocal. He’s growing as a leader.”

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UGA split the season series with Ole Miss after winning 62-58 in Oxford on January 14.

It was the second home loss of the season for Georgia, now 11-2 in Athens.

The Rebels hit a 3-pointer in the final minute of the first halt for a slim 35-34 halftime lead.

The two teams traded blows throughout the first half. The largest lead for either side came on a 5-0 scoring run from Oquendo to give Georgia a 28-23 lead at the 5:51 mark.

Bridges finished the first half with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Oquendo scored 12 more with 4 rebounds of his own.

Georgia is back in action playing host to Kentucky at noon on Saturday.

Georgia basketball vs. Ole Miss Box Score (StatBroadcast/Dawgnation)