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(Updated: CORRECTS Mann FT attempts in graph 2)
Georgia 66, Alabama 58: Kenny Gaines recorded a career-high 22 points as the Bulldogs held off the visiting Crimson Tide for their second straight victory to start the SEC season.
Charles Mann contributed 22 points, including 13-of-17 at the free-throw line, and had seven rebounds for Georgia (8-6, 2-0 SEC), which snapped a five-game losing streak against Alabama. Marcus Thornton added nine points, eight rebounds and five blocks for the Bulldogs, who won despite shooting 32.6 percent.
Trevor Releford scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half for the Crimson Tide (7-8, 1-1), who were 4-of-19 from 3-point range. Rodney Cooper chipped in with 15 points and Shannon Hale had 13 of his 14 in the first half for Alabama.
Hale’s 3-pointer gave the Crimson Tide a three-point lead with a little over eight minutes left in the first half before Gaines led the way as Georgia scored 24 of the final 34 to take a 34-23 lead at intermission. Gaines drained 4-of-6 from 3-point range in the opening half and scored 16 points for the Bulldogs.
Cooper had eight points as Alabama put together a 10-2 burst to get within three with just under eight minutes remaining. Thornton and Gaines each responded with a pair of free throws to push the lead to seven and Alabama did not get closer than five the rest of the way.
GAME NOTEBOOK: It was the 500th all-time win in SEC play for Georgia. The Bulldogs are 500-732 overall. … Alabama G Retin Obasohan, the team’s second-leading scorer, was held to four points on 0-of-3 from the field before fouling out. … Georgia, which came into the game shooting 64 percent from the free-throw line, made a season-high 31 out of 44 attempts (70.5 percent).