Green lifts Alabama past UGA, 65-57
Charvez Davis hit four second-half 3-pointers and scored 17 to help the Tide (20-10, 12-4 Southeastern Conference) rebound from a 27-point humbling Tuesday night at No. 14 Florida and boost its NCAA tournament hopes.
The Bulldogs (20-10, 9-7) cut an 11-point deficit down to 62-57 on Trey Thompkins’ 3-pointer with 32 seconds left to cap an 8-2 run.
Then, Andrew Steele hit two free throws and Green made one while Georgia missed its final two shots.
The win meant Alabama, which finishes 16-0 at Coleman Coliseum, could share the overall SEC title with the Gators if they lose at Vanderbilt later Saturday.
It’s the Tide’s first 20-win season in three years, but two straight losses and modest power ratings had weakened Alabama’s NCAA tournament chances. The Bulldogs had strengthened their own case with two straight double-digit wins.
They could have stayed alive for a possible No. 2 seed in the SEC tournament with a win.
Tide coach Anthony Grant took the microphone after the game to thank a fourth consecutive sellout crowd, most of which stuck around to hear his message.
Green bounced back from a 5-of-19 shooting performance in Gainesville despite being limited to 24 minutes because of foul trouble.
Tony Mitchell had 13 points, 11 rebounds and three steals for Alabama. Davis also had four assists and was 5-of-10 from 3-point range in the senior’s regular-season home finale.
Thompkins led Georgia with 15 points and 10 boards, scoring 11 in the second half. Travis Leslie also had 15 points but committed six of the Bulldogs’ 16 turnovers.
Dustin Ware finished with 11 points and made three of Georgia’s four 3-pointers.
Tide post players Green and Chris Hines spent much of the second half in foul trouble.
Hines fouled out with 6:43 left, forcing Alabama coach Anthony Grant to reinsert Green with his four fouls. He managed to avoid picking up another.
Davis hit three 3s in four minutes after the Bulldogs pulled to within 32-31 on Leslie’s drive with 14:30 remaining, two of them coming from about the same spot in the left corner.
Trevor Releford’s drive capped an 18-9 run and put Alabama’s lead back at 50-40 with 8:42 left and the best Georgia could do was cut it in half.
The Bulldogs led by eight points early, but Alabama took the lead with an 18-4 run sparked by Green’s eight points and went into the half up 27-21.
It was the fewest points Georgia had managed in a half this season.