Dawg Power!
Georgia's Dennis Williams Produces 29 Points Giving Hosts 79-71 Win; UGA Sews Up Third Seed For Upcoming SEC Tournament In Atlanta
With the third place seeding in the upcoming Southeastern Conference Basketball Tournament firmly at stake, Georgia's Bulldogs built a 10-point lead midway in the second half and then held off a furious rally at the end to hand Kentucky a 79-71 defeat in Athens last Wednesday.
The victory assured Georgia of at least a 10-8 conference record and a third place seed if it should end the regular season in a tie with Kentucky. Three days later, Kentucky beat Ole Miss to finish 10-8 and Georgia lost to Tennessee to wind up league play with a 10-8 mark also. By virtue of two wins over UK, Georgia was seeded in the third position.
Georgia needed a splendid performance from guard Dennis Williams who toyed with Kentucky's crepe-paper defense to the tune of 29 points on a perfect nine-of-nine evening from the field and 11 of 13 from the line.
Williams wasn't the only Bulldog which enjoyed an evening with the 'Cats as the 'Dogs hit a blazing 61.7 percentage from the field and 21 of 26 from the free throw line for a hot 80.8 percent.
To say Georgia coach Hugh Durham was pleased would be an understatement.
"Our guys played well tonight," said Durham. "Kentucky makes you do some things that you usually don't do because they play such aggressive man-to-man defense. Our
Georgia 79 .KENTUCKY 71
02/25/87 at Athens, Ga.
Kessler, C.	39	10 15	0 0	6	0	1	20
Kirce, D.	40	3 8	1 4	6	2	3	7
Burdette, E.	21	0 2	2 2	1	0	3	2
Williams, D.	40	9 9	11 13	3	3	2	29
Anderson, W.	36	6 12	4 4	2	8	2	16
Harron, M.	4	0 0	0 0	0	0	1	0
Kessler, A.	20	1 1	3 3	1	1	0	5
TEAM	0	0 0	0 0	5	0	0	0
TOTALS	200	29 47	21 26	24	14	12	79
LOCK, ROB	17	4	5
CHAPMAN, REX	31	5	15
DAVENDER, ED	32	6	12
TEAM	0	0	0
TOTALS	200	28	57
14    7    10 7
0   0   3 14
0 0 0 0 0 0 2   5 0
46--- 79
39--- 71
Georgia 61.7 KENTUCKY 49.1
Georgia 8 KENTUCKY 9
Georgia 0 KENTUCKY 0
Georgia Had 29 Field Goals, But 16 Were Layups
team reacted and played really well this evening." He gets no argument from this corner.
The 'Dogs scored at will, ran offensive drills around the Kentuckians like they were store-bought mannequins. The Cats' man-to-man defense couldn't have stopped a Division II team, much less Durham's monsters of the midway.
Rather than berate his own team though, Kentucky coach Eddie Sutton praised
Georgia's efforts.
"Georgia is a good ballclub," explained Sutton during his postgame press conference. "They know their roles well and play them well. They executed that old delay game to perfection down the stretch.
"I think Georgia played well the whole game and we played well only at times. We got back in the game at one point when (Derrick) Miller missed a shot from the top of the key and (Richard) Madision rebounded but missed an easy shot. That hurt us."
Georgia sprinted out to an early lead, taking a 10-5 lead at 15:34 of the first half on Chad Kessler's short jumper, but Kentucky stormed back with one of its two hot streaks.
Creating some transistion with its defense, Kentucky reeled off 10 unanswered points to take a 15-10 advantage at 12:41 when James Blackmon grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back.
Cedric Jenkins got the streak going with a putback off the offensive boards. Madison hit a jumper from the left of the lane and then Eddie Davender scored a layup after making a steal. Forty seconds later, Davender scored another layup and Blackmon's score had the 'Cats rolling.
Durham called a timeout at 12:36 and four minutes later Georgia caught Kentucky at 19-all on another Kessler layup.
Williams, who scored at will by posting up Kentucky's guards low and either hitting the jumper or getting fouled, put Georgia in front at 4:03 with a pair of charity tosses at 29-27. At the half, Georgia led 33-32 and Williams had already cashed in 15 chips on a five-of-five from the field and five of six from the line.
Meanwhile, Kentucky's only major offense came from Davender, who had hit the Georgia defense for 13 points on five of eight from the field and two of three from the line.
Both Lock and Madison were a perfect two-of-two from the field and UK enjoyed a hot 54.2 percent from the field and the stats were as close as the score.
Bulldogs Dash Away From 'Cats Early In First Quarter
Georgia broke the game open early in the second half when the 'Dogs outscored UK 10-2, thanks to a Willie Anderson baseline jumper, two Eric Burdette free throws and a pair of baskets from Kessler, the first coming on a.steal and thunderous dunk and then followed that up with a tip-in.
Suddenly, Georgia led 49-39 with 14:44 left and it was enough to cause Sutton to signal an immediate timeout.
But the 'Cats weren't dead just yet.
That's when Georgia peach Derrick Miller came off the Kentucky bench, sparked new life into the Big Blue and almost had the 'Cats thinking of a big. big comeback.
Miller, the gifted long-range bomber from Savannah, didn't even score in the first half, but found the range for 14 points in the second half, including four-of-five three-point bombs which melted Georgia's lead like a snowball in Africa.
By the time Miller had tickled the nets with his third long-range bomb, Kentucky had narrowed the margin to two (59-57) with 8:06 left in the game and it appeared the game would go down to the wire.
But Georgia had other thoughts.
Thanks to Williams' hot hand, the 'Dogs enjoyed six-point leads five times the next few minutes and each time Kentucky sliced into the margin, Williams would answer with either a layup or a free throw.
Kentucky's last golden opportunity came after Chapman hit a short jumper at 1:14 to cut the score to 73-69.
Anderson came back with a jumper and after a Kentucky miss, Georgia called a timeout and then started milking the clock. A pair of free throws from Anderson at :25 gave Georgia a 77-69 lead and the game was history.
Chapman scored a layup at 0:19 for a 77-71 score and Irving Thomas briefly intercepted a pass but threw a bad pass to Miller who was waiting outside the three-point line with 0:17 left.
Kentucky cooled off in the second half, hitting 45.5 percent and finished the game at 49.1 percent. Georgia, which hit 56 percent the first 20 minutes, really blistered the nets in the second half at a 68.2 percent clip and finished the game at 61.7 percent.
Wildcat-Bulldog Tidbits
Over 11,200 fans filled the Georgia Coliseum for the game, which was the first sellout of the season for the Bulldogs ... In pulling off the victory, Georgia became only the second SEC team to sweep the season series with UK this year. LSU turned the trick earlier in the month ... Yes sports fans, students at the University of Georgia have been guilty of watching Big East Conference basketball. You see, Georgia fans now dump all the toilet paper on the floor after the Bulldogs' first basket of the game. It'll be interesting to see if they're crazy enough to pull a similar stunt Between The Hedges next fall and risk a 15-yard penalty against Vince Dooley's gridders . . . Both Cedric Jenkins and Derrick Miller had large groups of local fans milling around the Kentucky locker room after the game. It was one of Miller's finest outings of the season . . . Rumors around Athens had it that Hugh Durham is very high on Lexington Lafayette guard Prince Stewart who was suspended from the team last week, but was reinstated a few days later. Georgia assistant Larry Gay, who has been following Stewart's career, is very impressed with the senior guard . . . Many basketball experts felt the Georgia win assured the Bulldogs a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The worst that Georgia can finish is 17-11, even if the 'Dogs lose in the first round of the SEC Tournament. A third-place tie in the nation's toughest conference should be enough for an invitation. However, Georgia's success in the SEC tourney this week could go a long way toward determining if it will be allowed to stay near home and play at The Omni next week in the first round in the NCAAs.