UPDATE: The SEC announced on Thursday (March 12) the remainder of the league tournament has been canceled amid concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak.
NASHVILLE — Georgia basketball found harmony in the Music City on Wednesday night, beating Ole Miss 81-63 to advance in the SEC tournament.
UGA (16-16) will play No. 5-seed Florida (19-12) at approximately 3 p.m. on Thursday (TV: SEC Network).
Rayshaun Hammonds led the Bulldogs (16-16) with 22 points and 11 rebounds — his sixth double-double of the season — in the win over the Rebels (15-17).
Jordan Harris scored a season-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and pulled down 7 rebounds. The win avenged a 70-60 loss to Ole Miss earlier this season in Athens.
Georgia looked as good as it has all season despite an off-night from SEC Freshman of the Year Anthony Edwards, who scored six points on 2-of-13 shooting.
Edwards didn’t score his first basket until he drained a 3-pointer at the 19-minute mark that padded the Georgia lead to 46-30.
Ole Miss couldn’t draw closer than nine points in the second half after the Bulldogs took a 41-30 lead into halftime.
Edwards missed his first six shots, all in the first half, but he did have three assists at the break and a handful of deflections.
Georgia led by as many as 15 points before taking the 11-point lead into intermission before a sparse crowd of about 7,500 at Bridgestone Arena.
Hammonds scored seven of the Bulldogs’ first nine points as Georgia raced out to a 12-4 lead over Ole Miss.
Harris was the next to heat up, scoring 11 straight points as the Bulldogs lead swelled to 23-10 at the 7:11 media timeout.
Ole Miss went more than six minutes without a basket before Devonte Shuler (17 points) scored back-to-back buckets to cut into a UGA lead that had swelled to 25-10.
The Rebels, led by Breein Tyree’s 18 points, cut the lead down to five points before Hammonds drained a 3-pointer and Wheeler sank a half court shot at the buzzer.
Sahvir Wheeler AT THE BUZZER 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ntcnXDv81u
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 12, 2020
Wheeler finished with 15 points and 8 assists, setting the UGA freshman record for assists.
Georgia looks to stay hot against a Gators’ team that beat the Bulldogs 68-54 in UGA’s regular-season home finale on March 4.
Florida came from 22 down to win in Gainesville on Feb. 5, 81-75.
A Georgia win over the Gators would assure the Bulldogs of a .500 record and make them eligible for an NIT bid.
The NIT, like the NCAA tournament, will be played without fans on account of concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.