Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia's sensational freshman Anthony Edwards outdueled The Citadel's Hayden Brown to lead Georgia to a 95-86 win Tuesday night in Stegeman Coliseum.
In just his second collegiate game, Edwards scored a career-high 29 points to hold off the pesky Bulldogs. Brown led The Citadel with a career-high 26 points.
Georgia (2-0) got 13 points apiece from Donnell Gresham and Tyree Crump and 10 each from Sahvir Wheeler, Rayshaun Hammonds and Amanze Ngumezi.
Kaelon Harris added 16 points and 11 rebounds for The Citadel (0-2). Kaiden Rice scored 10.
Georgia never trailed, but The Citadel was as close as 74-73 with 9:40 to play after Brown hit a 3-pointer to cap an 8-0 run.
But Wheeler hit both ends of a one-and-one, followed by Edwards' reverse layup, Wheeler's short jumper, Gresham's finger-roll, then Gresham's steal and slam to make it 84-76 with 7:24 to play.
Georgia led from the get-go, though never by more than 10 in the first half, when Edwards and Ngumezi tallied 10 points apiece. For Ngumezi, that equaled his previous career high.
Graduate transfer Gresham nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing with 13:07 to play in the half to make it 15-8, but The Citadel's grad transfer Tyson Batiste hit a short jumper in the lane to close the gap to 21-20 with 9:46 showing on the clock.
But the hometown Bulldogs scored three straight baskets_a transition layup by Hammonds, a 3-pointer from the wing by Crump and a corner two by Ngumezi, pushing the lead to 29-21.
Edwards dropped in an NBA-distance 3 at the 1:57 mark to give Georgia its biggest lead of the first half, 45-35. Edwards twice electrified the crowd with dunks off steals, including the last basket of the half that made it 48-40.
Georgia pushed it back to a 10-point margin early in the second half when Gresham converted a rare 4-point play.
That set the stage for a virtuoso demonstration by Edwards, showing the range of his skills.
First the 6-foot-5, 225-pound freshman weaved through defenders for a layup. Then he drop-stepped for a stop-and-pop jumper, sank a 3 on a transition play, then exploded down the lane to take a pass for a dunk. Next, he spread the love with a pass to Tyree Crump to set up a 3, then added two free throws. In a span of four minutes, he either scored or assisted on 14-straight points to give Georgia a 74-65 lead.
The margin did not last long as The Citadel generated an 8-0 run.
The Citadel demonstrated that it is still among the best in the nation with its long-range offense, hitting 12 of 18 3-point shots. Over the last four years, no team in the country has made more 3-point shots than the Bulldogs.
Georgia is trying to blend 10 new players, and it was encouraging that the Bulldogs had only eight turnovers. But the lack of maturity is still evident, signified by a willingness at times to stand outside the arc and miss 22 of 29 3-point attempts.
The Citadel returns home Saturday afternoon against Campbell, hoping to find its first win. The Bulldogs won last year 82-76, but it was just the second win in eight tries against Campbell.
Georgia plays its third straight home game Friday when Delaware State visits. The Bulldogs and Hornets have not played each other since Dec. 30, 2011, when Georgia won 58-50 to even the all-time series at two wins apiece.