LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- A little rest was all Georgia needed to
record another upset.
Rashad Wright scored 20 points to lift the Bulldogs past No. 5
Kentucky 65-57 on Saturday, ending the Wildcats' 19-game
Southeastern Conference regular-season winning streak.
Georgia (9-5, 1-2 SEC) beat a top-five opponent for the second
time this month. The Bulldogs downed then-No. 3 Georgia Tech 83-80
in double overtime on Jan. 3.
"This was one of those moments we should embrace," Georgia
basketball coach Dennis Felton said.
In between the win over Georgia Tech and the win over Kentucky,
Georgia lost its first two SEC games, to Tennessee and South
Carolina, by more than 20 points each. With a week between the
South Carolina and Kentucky games, Felton gave his players three
days off, citing "overall fatigue."
The Bulldogs looked anything but tired against the Wildcats
(11-2, 2-1), outrebounding them 36-23 and going 6-of-12 from the
Jonas Hayes said the week off gave the Bulldogs time to rest and
reflect on what happened.
"It gave us a chance to look really hard within ourselves and
find the will and determination to get things done," Hayes said.
The Bulldogs trailed only once, for 70 seconds midway through
the second half. Kentucky came no closer than five points during
the final six minutes, and Wright scored on a dunk with 0.2 seconds
left to cap the upset.
"We had lost two games by 40-plus points, and I felt Kentucky
was better than both the teams we lost to," said Georgia's Damien
Wilkins, who finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds. "But our
first two games, our effort was in question. As a player, you never
want to have effort as a question."
Kentucky's winning streak was the seventh-longest in league
history. The Wildcats' last regular-season SEC loss was to
Vanderbilt on Feb. 27, 2002. The loss denied Kentucky coach Tubby
Smith what would have been his 300th career win.
Erik Daniels scored 15 points to lead Kentucky, but the 6-foot-8
center had one rebound, six below his average. Chuck Hayes scored
13 points and Gerald Fitch added 10 points for Kentucky. Fitch
entered the game averaging 18.1 points, but went just 2-of-9 from
During a game that included 50 fouls -- 25 on each team -- Georgia
made 27 of 35 free throws (77.1 percent), helping offset a
16-for-41 (39 percent) shooting effort.
Kentucky finished 19-of-52 from the field (36.5 percent) and
went just 4-of-19 from 3-point range. Kentucky went 15-of-22 from
the free-throw line.
"This is probably the first time a team has been tougher than
us," Daniels said.
Kentucky took its only lead at 34-33 with 12:43 left on Daniels'
free throw. Levi Stukes, who scored 11 points, hit two free throws
with 11:33 left to give Georgia the lead for good, 35-34.
Georgia led 39-38 when Wright hit one of his four 3-pointers.
Marcus Sikes followed with a tip-in to give the Bulldogs a 44-38
In the first half, Georgia led by as many as 11 points --
Kentucky's largest deficit of the season.
Kentucky closed the gap to 28-25 at halftime. During the first
seven minutes of the second half, Kentucky missed eight shots that
would have either tied the game or given the Wildcats the lead.
"The ball was rolling in and out and that's a sign of a team
that's not mentally focused," Smith said. "We've got to recover.
... You've got to go back to the drawing table."