The Georgia men's basketball team ended the 2008 calendar year on a high note as sophomore Troy Brewer, who scored a career-high 15 points, led five Georgia players in double-figures as the Bulldogs earned a 72-52 victory over the visiting Kennesaw State Owls Wednesday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia was once again missing senior Terrance Woodbury, who sat out his fourth straight game due to a sprained ankle. Also absent from the regular starting lineup was sophomore Zac Swansey, who sat out Wednesday afternoon's game with a knee injury.
Despite missing those two key performers, the Bulldogs (9-4) used a balanced offensive attack and a stingy defense to outlast the Owls (5-6, 1-1 Atlantic Sun).
Defensively, Georgia put on a strong display in holding Kennesaw State to just 31 percent shooting on the night, the lowest shooting percentage by any Bulldog opponent this season. Highlighting the Georgia defensive effort was Albert Jackson, who set new career-highs with four blocks and 10 rebounds in the game. He also chipped in a season-high 12 points.
The Bulldog offense was just as productive as its defense, shooting 53 percent from the floor. The Bulldogs had 28 points in the paint and another 28 points from their bench. Brewer's 15 and Jeremy Price's 13 accounted for all the bench points, while starters Trey Thompkins, Jackson and Dustin Ware accounted for 14, 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Ware also added six assists as he played 38 minutes, the most of his young career, on Wednesday. He also helped hold Kennesaw State's Kelvin McConnell to just five points, nine points below his season average.
"I thought he played well," head coach Dennis Felton said of Ware. "He had to defend some really important guards in (McConnell) and (Spencer Dixon) and I thought today was one of his better defensive efforts. It was critical to our success."
The Bulldogs opened the game with a 16-4 spurt and led by as many as 13 with about four minutes remaining in the opening frame. Brewer came off the bench to score nine points to lead the Bulldogs to a 34-22 advantage at the half.
Georgia maintained a double-digit lead most of the way through the second half until Kennesaw State pulled to within nine at 55-46 with a little more than four minutes to play. The Bulldogs, however, would finish the game on a 17-6 run to close out the contest.
Kennesaw State's Dixon led all scorers with a game-high 16 points.
Georgia will be back in action at 1 p.m. Saturday when the Bulldogs host the Missouri Tigers at Stegeman Coliseum.
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