ATHENS — Georgia suffered a 70-60 home loss to Ole Miss, a sellout crowd and decisive rebounding advantage not enough to get the Bulldogs back on track.
The Rebels (10-9, 1-5 SEC) snapped a a six-game losing streak with the upset over Georgia (11-8, 1-5), which has lost two of its last three at home after opening the season 8-0 in Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards continued his struggles with 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Ten of Edwards’ attempts came from behind the arc, his inability to get to the rim out of the half court offense surfacing once again.
Senior Jordan Harris led the Bulldogs with 15 points and eight rebounds in a game that saw UGA hold a decisive 38-28 advantage on the boards.
Georgia however, couldn’t overcome its poor shooting (17 of 55, 30.9 percent) while Ole Miss was an efficient 26 of 50 (52 percent).
“Bottom line, we’re not going to beat anybody shooting the way we shot,” Bulldogs coach Tom Crean said. “Our defense was good at times, at times it was not, but the bottom line was our offense, over the period of 40 minutes, didn’t give us enough of a chance to win the game.”
The loss marks UGA’s first three-game losing streak of the season, sending many of the10,523 in attendance to the exits early as Ole Miss pulled away late.
The Rebels threatened to run away at the start of the second half, scoring the first five points after intermission to make a 40-29, before Crean called time out with 17:17 left.
The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run sparked by a Harris 3-pointer and consecutive drives to the basket by Sahvir Wheeler (11 points) that resulted in a bucket and two free throws that cut the lead to 40-38 with 13:44 left.
Moments later, Edwards pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer from the wing that put Georgia up 43-42 with 12:31 left and sent the crowd into a frenzy.
It was the Bulldogs’ first lead since a 13-12 advantage early, and Edwards’ first points since the 16:07 mark of the first half.
It proved to be the final lead for Georgia.
Ole Miss wrestled the lead back on a pair of K.J. Buffen (14 points) free throws the next trip down the floor and didn’t trail again.
Breein Tyree scored 20 points to lead the Rebels.
Georgia was down 35-29 at the end of the first half, a victim of its own poor shooting (9 of 27) and 9 turnovers.
Ole Miss had led by as many as 10 points, 32-22, before the Bulldogs battled back.
Harris scored on a drive to the basket and hit a trey, and then Edwards capped the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws to make it 32-29.
The Rebels scored the final three points of the half, the Bulldogs missing four shots on their final possession, squandering offensive rebounds.
Junior Rayshaun Hammonds was held to 4 points and five rebounds in his nearly 30 minutes (29:58) on the floor, just 1-of-8 shooting.
Ole Miss outscored UGA 38-20 in the paint, the Bulldogs struggling to finish through contact and score around the rim.
Georgia returns to action at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri (9-10, 1-5 SEC) before returning to Athens to play host to Texas A&M (9-9, 3-3) next Saturday.
Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean
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