Wednesday, January 21, 2004
» Box Score
By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Antoine Pettway made a 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining to give Alabama an ugly 45-42 victory over Georgia on Wednesday night, the Bulldogs once again failing to follow up a huge win.
Georgia (9-6, 1-3 Southeastern Conference) lost to the Crimson Tide (11-4, 3-1) just four days after a stunning 65-57 upset at Kentucky.
But the result shouldn't have been surprising. The Bulldogs shocked then-No. 3 Georgia Tech 83-80 on Jan. 3, then lost their next two games by a combined 45 points.
Alabama won its third straight SEC contest, despite shooting only 36 percent (16 of 44) from the field and committing 19 turnovers.
The Bulldogs were just as bad. They shot just under 33 percent (15 of 46) and also had 19 turnovers.
For Georgia, it was the lowest-scoring game since a 64-40 loss at Kentucky in 1984. Alabama had not been this low since a 52-45 loss to Florida in 1988.
With the score tied at 42, Georgia had a chance to take the final shot. But Damien Wilkins decided to put one up when he got open near the foul line with about 12 seconds left. He didn't hit anything.
The Bulldogs missed a couple of putbacks, too, before Kennedy Winston finally grabbed the rebound for Alabama and called timeout with 7.6 seconds remaining.
The Crimson Tide inbounded to Pettway, who quickly dribbled up the court and pulled up to make an open 3-pointer.
After another timeout, the Bulldogs threw a long pass to Wilkins, who caught the ball while standing out of bounds. That prevented even a desperation attempt to send the game to overtime.
Pettway scored 11 points to lead Alabama, and Chuck Davis (10) was the only teammate in double figures. Earnest Shelton, the team's top scorer, played only 15 minutes after spraining his right knee late in the first half.
Rashad Wright led Georgia with 14 points, but he also was guarding Pettway on the winning basket. Wright backed off, trying to prevent Pettway from penetrating, and wound up giving him an open look.
Right from the start, it was apparent that points were going to be hard to come by. At the first timeout, the score was 0-0. The teams went more than 5 1/2 minutes before Georgia's Jonas Hayes finally got the ball through the net off an inbounds pass.
Alabama managed only one basket in the final 5 1/2 minutes, but still trailed just 22-18 at the break. While the Bulldogs closed the period with a 9-2 spurt, they were hardly impressive.
During one especially ugly stretch, Alabama had two turnovers and missed three shots, while Georgia had two turnovers, an airball and a charging call against Chris Daniels.