KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Dustin Ware scored 16 and 15 points respectively, but it wasn't enough as Tennessee handed Georgia its 12th loss of the season, defeating the Bulldogs 73-62 Saturday night.
"You have to give Tennessee credit," said head coach Mark Fox. "They made some key baskets in the second half. They made a couple of back-to-back [three-pointers], and we could never get it back. I was really proud that we competed and the way we came out and battled through adversity. We're just two or three plays away."
Senior guard Gerald Robinson Jr. also tallied 13 points and seven assists in the loss.
Georgia (10-12, 1-7 SEC) got off to a quick start, leading by as many as eight points in the first half. Ware scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half, including nine from behind the three point arc.
After Tennessee (11-12, 3-5 SEC) took a 30-28 halftime lead courtesy of an 11-1 run in the final five minutes of the half, the Bulldogs opened the second half on a 11-2 run, started by a pair of jumpers from Ware and Robinson Jr.
But the Volunteers wouldn't go away. Trailing 41-34 with 14 minutes remaining in the game, Tennessee went on a 22-7 run to grab the lead for good.
The Bulldogs were plagued by foul trouble much of the game with Marcus Thornton and Donte' Williams fouling out after combining for only two points and five rebounds in 30 minutes of play. Thornton, Williams and freshman forward Nemanja Djurisic were forced to sit much of the first half after picking two early fouls.
"We were in foul trouble the entire game," said Fox. "We played Jay Rome for five minutes in [the first half] because everyone was out with two fouls. It forced us to sit in a zone for a great deal of the second half."
Georgia won the turnover battle, but was outshot, 45 percent to 36 percent, and outrebounded 34 to 30. Tennessee also led the bench scoring battle 34 to 16.
For Tennessee, Trae Golden led the Volunteers with 16 points and six rebounds. Jeronne Maymon also contributed 15 points and 8 rebounds.
Georgia returns home to take on Arkansas on Wednesday. The game is scheduled to tip at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox Sports South.