GEORGIA 57, AUBURN 49
By GEORGE HENRY
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia coach Mark Fox had no difficulty summing up his team’s victory over Auburn.
“It was an ugly game,” Fox said. “It was so physical. Both teams were playing so hard and when you’re playing that hard, it’s hard to play pretty.”
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to help Georgia beat Auburn 57-49 on Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs (9-11, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) have won three of four.
Frankie Sullivan and Allen Payne each finished with 13 points for Auburn (8-12, 2-5). The Tigers, who have dropped five straight, matched their season-low in points and shot a season-worst 28.3 percent from the field.
Caldwell-Pope, Georgia’s leading scorer in 18 of 20 games this season, gave the Bulldogs a four-point lead with a putback at the 1:09 mark and followed with two free throws to make it 53-47 with 31 seconds left.
“Toward the end of the game, we had to knock down free throws,” Caldwell-Pope said. “Some of us did, but we also missed 11 free throws (throughout the night). We’ve got to continue to get better on free throws at the end of games.”
Caldwell-Pope, the league’s No. 2 scorer with a 17.5 average, believes Georgia is starting to build some confidence after opening the SEC schedule 0-3. The Bulldogs visit South Carolina on Saturday.
“This is a turning point for us,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We’ve won three of the last four games, but we’ve just got to take it game by game like I said.”
Fox just hopes the next game isn’t so ugly. Georgia and Auburn combined for 46 fouls and 23 missed free throws. In the second half, they went a combined 1 for 13 on 3-point attempts.
“We’re becoming more consistent,” Fox said. “That doesn’t mean we’re still not making a ton of mistakes – and there’s a lot of room to grow here – but they just keep battling and trying to get better. I’m proud of our team. These kids have worked hard and stayed fully bought in and invested in the process.”