Georgia Bulldogs Win NIT Opener

Georgia Bulldogs Win NIT Opener (Image 1)



Georgia Downs Vermont, Advances to Second
Round on Saturday


Georgia men's basketball team closed the game on a 14-2 run, advancing to the
second round of the National Invitational Tournament with a 63-56 win over
the Vermont Catamounts Wednesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

Georgia (20-13) was led by Charles Mann and Marcus Thornton
who scored 29 and 16 points, respectively—both career highs. Donte' Williams
led Georgia on the boards with seven rebounds.

“That was a March game versus two very good teams,” said
head coach Mark Fox. “Let me start by complementing Vermont's team. I've
never had more pleasure scouting an opponent than I did their team. They play
the game the right way, they play it together, and they're experienced. They
play the game in a way that I think everyone can appreciate, so I thought that
we would have the games full and we did.

“In the first half I thought that our defense was terrific. I
thought that in the second half, because Vermont was so good and because they're
defense took a step back, that they wore us out for a period there in the
second half. Then our crowd lifted us up. For a team that started slowly before
Thanksgiving, this team decided to climb back in it and our fans have been
right there with us. Tonight they helped lift us up and win it and that was a
real difference in the game.”

Three minutes into the second half, Vermont (22-11) embarked on a
21-2 run, taking a 47-39 lead when Hector Harold hit a three-pointer from the
corner with nine minutes remaining in the game. Just a minute later, Georgia
pulled to within two points, but the Catamounts quickly responded with five
straight points to bolster their lead back to seven points.

However, Georgia stopped the Catamount momentum, closing the game
on an 14-2 run, largely behind nine points from Mann, to secure its 20th
win of the season and advance to the NIT second round.

In the first half, Georgia held Vermont without a field goal in
the final four minutes, closing the half on a 7-1 to take a 29-20 lead into
halftime. Georgia forced 11 first-half turnovers and limited the Catamounts to
just 33 percent shooting from the field.

With tonight's win, Georgia has notched its 12th 20-win season in
program history and just its second in the past 12 years.

Sandro Carissimo led Vermont with 11 points and five rebounds.

Georgia will host Louisiana Tech in the tournament's second round
on Saturday at 11 a.m. For ticket information, visit

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