Georgia 67

(15-15, 5-11 SEC)

Arkansas 80

(22-8, 10-6 SEC)

    9:45 PM ET, March 9, 2006

    Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

    1 2 T
    UGA 35 3267
    ARK 40 4080

    Top Performers

    Georgia: Y. Idrissi 14 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 5 Blk

    Arkansas: R. Brewer 18 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

    Arkansas 80, Georgia 67

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- It took four years, but Arkansas coach Stan Heath finally got his first win in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

    The Razorbacks' hot streak continued Thursday night with Jonathon Modica scoring 20 points to lead Arkansas to an 80-67 victory over Georgia. The win was the first for Arkansas in the SEC tournament since 2001, when Nolan Richardson was coach.

    "It's a little bit of a monkey off my back and the same thing for the team," Heath said. "We really haven't shown well when we've been here. We wanted it not just for that reason -- to get one -- but we want to be here for a while."

    The Razorbacks (22-8) will play No. 16 Florida in the second round Friday.

    They built up their NCAA tournament resume by finishing the regular season with five straight wins that included victories over the Gators, Alabama and Tennessee.

    Four days ago, Arkansas won 74-57 at Georgia, and the Razorbacks had little trouble beating the Bulldogs again.

    Georgia (15-15) has not had much luck in the SEC tournament recently. The Bulldogs lost in the first round last year and haven't advanced past the quarterfinals since 1997.

    "We could have taken better care of the ball, and then we struggled to keep up with their explosiveness," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said.

    Arkansas grabbed the lead in the first half and pulled away with a 13-2 run. The Razorbacks didn't trail again as they pushed the lead to 10 before halftime.

    A little over three minutes into the second half, Arkansas was up by 14. Georgia got as close as 53-43 on Mike Mercer's floater in the lane, but the Razorbacks reeled off 11 straight points in the next four minutes. Eric Ferguson's 3 made it 64-43 with 12:32 remaining.

    Ronnie Brewer, the SEC's leading scorer, added 18 points, while Ferguson had 16 and Charles Thomas scored 14 for Arkansas.

    Mercer scored 16 points off the bench, Younes Idrissi added 14 and Channing Toney had 10 for Georgia.

    The Razorbacks hit a low point in a 73-70 loss at Mississippi on Feb. 15, but they beat Florida in overtime in the next game to start their win streak.

    "We went through so many close losses as a team that once we found out how to win and what it took to win that we have just continued to build on that," Modica said. "We're playing with a lot more poise than we did in the past down the stretch."

    The Razorbacks made it to the semifinals in 2001 and are the only ones to win the tournament championship having to play four games. Arkansas also won the title in 2000.

    Georgia was ahead 16-15 after consecutive 3s by Mercer, but Arkansas responded with the 13-2 run. Modica capped it with a jumper that gave the Razorbacks a 28-18 lead with 8:32 left in the first half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 67 80
    FG Made-Attempted 24-56 (.429) 29-65 (.446)
    3P Made-Attempted 10-28 (.357) 6-20 (.300)
    FT Made-Attempted 9-14 (.643) 16-21 (.762)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 3 22

    2005-06 Season

    Mar 5, 2006 ARK 74, @UGA 57Recap
    » Mar 9, 2006 @ARK 80, UGA 67Recap