ATHENS, Ga. -- Dustin Ware came off the bench again and scored 15 points Friday to lead slow-staring Georgia past Delaware State 58-51 for its fifth straight victory.
"This was a win, but I was not pleased with the way we played," Georgia coach Mark Fox said.
Not even a 50-footer at the halftime horn by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope lifted Fox's mood.
"The way we played we did not deserve for that shot to go in," he said. "Don't get me wrong, I am glad it went in."
Caldwell-Pope and Donte Williams each scored 12 points for Georgia (9-5), which got clutch play down the stretch from Gerald Robinson. Casey Walker led Delaware State (4-7) with 16 points and Tyshawn Bell added 14 points and 10 rebounds. It was the fourth straight loss for the Hornets.
Coming off a 92-86 overtime win Tuesday over Winthrop, Georgia fell behind early for the second straight game. Delaware State bolted to a 14-4 lead in the first seven minutes, fueled by four 3-point baskets, including three by Walker.
"That is one of our biggest issues," Williams said. "We are coming out kind of flat."
Ware had started 90 of 105 games in his college career before playing as a reserve the last four games.
"Right from the start we have to be ready to go," he said. "The last couple of games we have not done that, and it has obviously shown."
Delaware State missed eight of 13 free throws in losing its fourth straight. Georgia hit seven of eight.
"If you don't make foul shots, youre not going to win basketball games," Delaware State coach Greg Jackson said.
The Hornets played their third straight game without leading scorer Tahj Tate, who has been suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Georgia regained the lead when Ware's 3-pointer made it 20-19 with 6:09 remaining in the half.
"Dustin has shot the ball well," Fox said. "He is comfortable coming in. He has played with a lot of confidence offensively."
Caldwell-Pope scored Georgia's final seven points of the half, including a 50-footer at the end of the half to give the Bulldogs a 32-29 edge.
In the second half, a pair of free throws by Ware put Georgia up 49-41 with 9:29 left. But the Bulldogs scored just one field goal over the next seven minutes. Walker made two of three free throws with 2:37 left, pulling Delaware State to 52-48.
But in the last two minutes, Georgia spread the floor for Robinson, who scored the Bulldogs' last six points on two layups and two free throws. Delaware State, meanwhile, missed three free throws and added a meaningless 3-pointer by Walker with 8.6 seconds to play.
Fox hopes the game is a wake-up call. The Bulldogs begin Southeastern Conference play Jan. 7 against Alabama.
"We need to grow up in a lot of ways," Fox said. "We made some silly plays late in the game. I hope we will learn as much as we can from this game."
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|South Carolina State||12-4||1||19-15|
|North Carolina Central||7-9||6||13-19|
|North Carolina A&T||7-9||6||10-22|