ATHENS — Georgia basketball star Anthony Edwards put the hammer down on Arkansas Saturday night.
Edwards scored nine of his 26 points in the final 1:07 leading the Bulldogs to the 99-89 victory over the Razorbacks in a game they never trailed.
The win keeps Georgia (15-14, 5-11 SEC) in contention for a bye at the SEC tournament and likely knocks Arkansas (18-11, 6-10) off the proverbial NCAA tourney bubble.
“It was a game of runs, it was a game of adjustments,” UGA coach Tom Crean said. “I’m proud of them.”
UGA led by as many as 11 points in the second half, going up 71-60 with 10:25 left on a Tyree Crump 3-pointer.
Crump came off the bench to score 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a clutch 3-pointer down the stretch in the midst of a 7-0 Georgia run in the final 2 minutes.
“It’s being focused,” Crump said. “We’ve been through a lot …. we’ve been through a lot together.”
The Bulldogs have won three of their past four games, but Saturday’s win didn’t come easy.
Arkansas made a run midway through the second half, scoring on six straight possessions to cut the lead to 73-72 with 6:23 left on Adrio Bailey’s dunk.
Razorbacks’ stars Isaiah Joe and Mason Jones scored 26 apiece, and showed their talents for the double-digit number of scouts on hand at the game.
The Razorbacks kept the pressure on down the stretch, trailing by only one with 2:13 left when Joe hit a pair of free throws making it 85-84.
Rayshaun Hammonds (22 points, nine rebounds), however asserted himself on the ensuing possession. Hammonds got to the rim for a basket that sparked the pivotal 7-0 spurt.
The 10,017 on hand enabled Georgia to set a single-season attendance record (154,064), and that’s with one regular-season home game remaining.
It was also the school-record 10th crowd of the season with more than 10,000 fans, and they were treated to a fast start.
Georgia raced out to a 14-0 lead and held a 47-39 lead at the half.
The Bulldogs were up by as many as 18 on two occasions.
Arkansas fought its way back into the game by getting to the foul line. The Razorbacks were 11-of-15 from the free-throw line in the opening 20 minutes while Georgia was 4-of-6.
An Edwards 3-pointer made it 36-18 at the 8:24 mark and capped a 7-0 run.
Georgia was in control from the opening tip behind the hot-hand of Hammonds and the strong interior play of Toumani Camara.
Hammonds scored 17 of his points in the first half on 7-of-11 shooting.
Camara had five of his seven rebounds off the offensive glass, UGA outrebounding the Razorbacks 40-29 on the night.
The Bulldogs return to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday against Florida, their final regular-season game of the season.
Georgia is one game out of the 11th spot, with Arkansas and Missouri both 6-10 in league play, currently occupying the 10th and 11th spots.
The 10th place team begins play on Thursday instead of Wednesday at the SEC tourney in Nashville.
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