Daniels returns, Hayes nets 21 in Dawgs' victory

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Jarvis Hayes found his touch, and Chris
Daniels was simply happy to be playing again.

Hayes scored 19 points and Daniels had 16 to help send No. 16
Georgia (No. 18 AP) past Belmont 87-71 Saturday.

Hayes missed his first two shots but made a strong turnaround
after being held to eight points in a season-opening loss to Texas
eight days ago.

"I just wanted to get the momentum going and start the team off
right," Hayes said.

Hayes made his last seven shots, including six in the second
half. He had 11 points during a 22-5 run in the last half.

After a sluggish first half, Georgia (1-1) put away the stubborn
Bruins with dominating defense.

Belmont (1-2) went 3-for-13 to start the second half and went
nearly four minutes without scoring. Adam Mark led the Bruins with
29 points.

Daniels was making his regular-season debut after a one-game
suspension for playing in an unsanctioned charity game last summer.
One of the nation's most versatile players, he added nine rebounds,
four assists, three blocks and a steal.

"Practicing and playing in games aren't the same thing, but
once we got out there and ran up and down the court a couple of
times, it felt like old times," Daniels said.

Ezra Williams scored 15 for the Bulldogs.

"We got to play a lot of guys," Georgia coach Jim Harrick
said. "Right now, I'm trying to find the right substitution
rotation. I wanted to see some different combinations and everybody
had a few minutes."

Adam Sonn made two free throws soon after halftime to cut the
Bulldogs' lead to 40-37, but that's as close as Belmont would get.

With the margin seven a few minutes later, Williams nailed a
3-pointer to start the game-turning spurt. Hayes had two 3s, hit a
jumper and made two layups during the run, which gave Georgia a
69-44 lead.

"We calmed down in the second half, and stopped letting their
defense dictate what we did," Hayes said. "We wanted to dictate
the game, and that's what we did in the second half."

The Bulldogs turned up the pressure, too, pressing more in the
second half with 6-foot-7 Damien Wilkins at the top of the defense.
Later, after Wilkins went to the bench, Daniels, also 6-7, took his
place and forced several bad passes. Overall, Belmont had 18

"At halftime, coach told us we weren't really getting our
fastbreak working," Daniels said. "He told us that was one of the
things he wanted us to pick up in the second half, and we did it.

In the first half, the Bruins led 27-26 after a layup by Mark.
After the Bulldogs took an 11-point lead, Mark and Steve Drabyn hit
consecutive 3-pointers.

"I liked our mentality coming into the game," Belmont coach
Rick Byrd said. "We came out ready to play and I am pleased with
that. We ran our offense pretty well and shot the ball all right."

Wilkins, making his home debut for Georgia after transferring
from North Carolina State, finished with nine points.