No. 16 Kentucky rallies past Georgia 66-61 in SEC opener

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored five of his 21 points down the stretch, and No. 16 Kentucky added several clutch late baskets to rally past Georgia 66-61on Sunday night in its Southeastern Conference opener.

The Wildcats (11-2, 1-0) shot a season-low 17 of 54 from the field (32 percent) but got needed baskets to overcome an eight-point deficit. Gilgeous-Alexander's go-ahead 3-pointer with 4:39 remaining set the tone for big shots that Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo and then Gilgeous-Alexander followed with layups before Wenyen Gabriel's 3 with 1:08 left provided a six-point cushion.

Gilgeous-Alexander and Quade Green (15 points) combined for three late free throws to seal the tight win that followed Friday's 29-point shellacking of archrival Louisville. Diallo finished with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds as Kentucky won the boards 42-38.

Yante Maten had 17 points, Derek Ogbeide 13 and Rayshaun Hammonds 12 for the Bulldogs (9-3, 0-1), who entered having won five of six this month. They seemed to be able to answer several Kentucky charges in the second half before fading to finish 40 percent from the field.


Georgia: The Bulldogs missed their first 11 3-point shots and finished just 2 of 21 from behind the arc, but consecutive makes by Maten and William Jackson II coming out of the break proved critical. Besides providing a 33-26 lead, the shots set an assertive yet patient tone that paid off on both ends. But those timely shots, rebounds and steals disappeared in the final five minutes.

Kentucky: After playing arguably their best game this season against Louisville, the Wildcats struggled from the field throughout before succeeding late. Gilgeous-Alexander followed up his career-best 24-point effort against Louisville with another 20-point game, hitting 12 of 13 from the line. The 'Cats made 27 of 38 overall.


Georgia: Hosts Mississippi on Wednesday night.

Kentucky: At LSU on Wednesday night.

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