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Bubble Buster! Georgia Beats Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Georgia coach Pete Herrmann says he still
believes Kentucky deserves an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
After what his Bulldogs did to the Wildcats, it's doubtful the
selection committee will agree.
The all-time winningest college basketball program is in serious
risk of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1991
after Georgia's 90-85 victory on Wednesday night at Rupp Arena.
Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie said the loss was his fault.
"I take the blame for it," he said. "I've tried a bunch of
different things and none of them seem to be working. I thought we
played hard. I don't think we played smart."
Georgia (12-18, 3-12 Southeastern Conference) won for just the
fourth time in 32 meetings at Rupp Arena. The Bulldogs' last win
against Kentucky (19-11, 8-7) came last year as one of their four
victories en route to an SEC tournament title.
Kentucky likely must duplicate that feat, or could be playing in
the National Invitation Tournament rather than the NCAAs later this
month. The Wildcats have one last regular-season game on Saturday
at Florida, another team fighting for its tournament life after a
loss to Mississippi State on Wednesday night.
"Obviously with the scores tonight, it's going to make the SEC
tournament a really terrific tournament down in Tampa," Herrmann
said.
On a night Kentucky honored Jared Carter, its lone senior, in
pregame ceremonies, it was Georgia's lone four-year senior,
Terrance Woodbury, who spoiled the party.
Woodbury had 30 points, two off his career-high, scoring the
Bulldogs' first nine points, then following with clutch baskets
down the stretch. Among them was his fourth 3-pointer of the game
midway through the second half that helped halt a rally and hush
the Rupp Arena crowd.
"It just took a while to gel together," said Woodbury, who
also made all 12 of his free throw attempts. "Tonight was an
example of what this team could have been."
Trey Thompkins had 19 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth
career double-double.
The Wildcats, down by 10 with less than seven minutes left, cut
the lead to 88-85 after Jodie Meeks nailed a 3 with one second to
go. But they would get no closer as Georgia's Dustin Ware made two
free throws.
"We just stayed composed the entire game," Georgia's Corey
Butler said. "That's what we preached going into the game."
The disappointment for Kentucky came despite the team finding,
at least for one night, a long-sought third scorer behind Meeks and
Patrick Patterson.
That turned out to be point guard Michael Porter, who set career
highs with 15 points and five 3-pointers. One of his long-range
misses, however, was a critical airball down the stretch.
"It's definitely depressing," Porter said. "It's a
heartbreaking loss. We have to bounce back, though."
Meeks led the Wildcats with 23 points, scoring all but three of
his points in the second half. Patterson had 14.
Georgia made 50 percent of its shots and outrebounded the
Wildcats 38-27. Kentucky also had 16 steals and 14 blocked shots,
but the clutch points almost always went to Georgia.
With the Wildcats down 53-51, Georgia took the lead for good by
scoring the next 10 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by
Butler and Thompkins.
Before that, momentum had swung to the Wildcats, whose 16-2 run
in the first half erased a sluggish start. Kentucky led 49-47 at
halftime after Patterson dunked home a buzzer beater off an inbound
pass from Meeks.
Carter, finishing a disappointing, injury-riddled career at
Kentucky, got the traditional Senior Day start but lost the opening
tip. He scored one basket before Gillispie replaced him four
minutes in.
With the loss, reality about the possibility of no madness in
March is starting to set in for Kentucky's players. Patterson says
it should provide momentum in the final games.
"We don't want to be the team that didn't make it," he said.

GEORGIA 90, KENTUCKY 85
FG FT Reb
GEORGIA Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Thompkins 32 8-13 1-2 2-11 0 4 19
Jackson 25 2-4 0-2 2-4 0 3 4
Ware 30 4-8 8-9 1-3 5 3 18
Butler 34 3-5 4-4 2-6 3 4 13
Woodbury 37 7-13 12-12 0-3 5 1 30
Barnes 21 3-9 0-1 2-3 0 3 6
Swansey 13 0-2 0-0 0-2 3 1 0
McPhee 8 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 2 0
Totals 200 27-54 25-30 13-38 16 21 90
Percentages: FG .500, FT .833.
3-Point Goals: 11-16, .688 (Woodbury 4-4, Butler 3-3, Thompkins 2-4, Ware 2-4, Swansey 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 4.
Blocked Shots: 8 (Barnes 3, Thompkins 2, Jackson 2, Woodbury).
Turnovers: 19 (Ware 6, Woodbury 6, Swansey 2, Thompkins 2, Jackson, McPhee, Barnes).
Steals: 4 (Thompkins 2, Butler 2).
Technical Fouls: None.
FG FT Reb
KENTUCKY Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Harris 20 2-3 5-6 1-1 3 3 10
Porter 30 5-9 0-0 0-2 3 5 15
Meeks 28 6-16 9-10 0-1 3 3 23
Carter 4 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 2
Patterson 36 4-10 6-6 5-9 2 1 14
Miller 29 3-7 2-2 2-5 2 4 9
Galloway 18 0-4 2-2 0-1 1 2 2
Slone 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 2 0
Krebs 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Stevenson 23 4-7 0-0 1-3 0 2 8
Liggins 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Harrellson 8 0-1 2-2 1-2 0 1 2
Totals 200 25-60 26-28 10-27 14 24 85
Percentages: FG .417, FT .929.
3-Point Goals: 9-20, .450 (Porter 5-8, Meeks 2-7, Harris 1-1, Miller 1-3, Galloway 0-1).
Team Rebounds: 2.
Blocked Shots: 14 (Patterson 8, Harrellson 2, Harris, Porter, Meeks, Stevenson).
Turnovers: 13 (Miller 3, Meeks 3, Galloway 3, Porter 2, Liggins, Stevenson).
Steals: 16 (Harris 5, Porter 3, Miller 2, Stevenson 2, Meeks 2, Harrellson, Galloway).
Technical Fouls: None.
Georgia 47 43-90
Kentucky 49 36-85
A-23,889.
Officials-John Cahill, J.B. Caldwell, Doug Sirmons.


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