Georgia basketball went to Memphis and delivered a massive upset at FedEx Forum, upsetting the No. 9-ranked Tigers 65-62 in a nationally-televised CBS game on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (10-3) prevailed in a hard-fought battle that featured 20 lead changes and 10 ties, holding Memphis (12-2) without a field goal the final 4:35 of regulation.
“They earned it, and it wasn’t easy,” UGA coach Tom Crean said on the Bulldogs’ radio network. “It was a huge road victory for us.
“It wasn’t a pretty game, but we found a way to win it. It’s a maturity process.”
The Bulldogs have nine freshmen on their roster.
It was Georgia’s first road win over a Top 10 team in more than 15 years (65-57 over Kentucky, Jan. 17, 2004).
The Bulldogs improved to 4-0 in games decided by four points or less this season, snapping the Tigers’ 10-game win streak.
Junior Rayshaun Hammonds led Georgia with 15 points and 12 rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season.
Freshman Anthony Edwards had 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Hammonds’ 3-pointer with 4:05 left gave the Bulldogs a 62-61 lead and proved to put Georgia up for good.
Freshman point guard Sahvir Wheeler (10 points, 7 assists) hit a jumper in the lane with 1:04 left to extend the lead to 64-61.
Memphis got its final points when Alex Lomax split a pair of free throws with 43 seconds left to make it 64-62.
Graduate transfer Donnel Gresham Jr. (12 points, 8 rebounds) split a one-and-one free-throw situation with 7.7 seconds left to help seal the Bulldogs’ biggest victory in Tom Crean’s two seasons leading the program.
Edwards came down with a missed Memphis free-throw with 2.4 seconds left and was fouled.
Edwards, just 4-of-17 shooting, missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity with two seconds left, but the Tigers missed a three-quarter court shot at the buzzer.
The game was tied 37-37 at the half after 12 lead changes. The seventh and final tie of the opening half occurred when Memphis Precious Achiuwa (20 points, 15 rebounds) split a pair of free throws with 0.8 left on the clock after being fouled in transition.
Edwards struggled in the first half, just 2-of-10 shooting in his 17 minutes on the floor.
Toumani Camara and Hammonds scored 8 points apiece in the opening 20 minutes to pace the Bulldogs.
Georgia got 11 of its points off nine turnovers while committing just six turnovers themselves.
The biggest disparity in the first half was at the free-throw line, as Memphis was whistled for just two fouls, while Georgia had eight. The Tigers were 8-of-12 from the free-throw line.
It was the first meeting between Georgia and Memphis in men’s basketball since 1996, when the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 70-68 in the Rainbow Classic behind Michael Chadwick’s 18 points.
Georgia returns to action at 9 p.m. on Tuesday at Stegeman Coliseum against No. 17 Kentucky.
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