Aaron Cook had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds to lead host Georgia to a season-opening 58-51 victory over Florida International on Tuesday in Athens, Ga.
Braelen Bridges, Kario Oquendo and Jaxon Etter each scored nine points for the Bulldogs, while Jailyn Ingram scored six points to help Georgia rally from a five-point halftime deficit to win.
Florida International was led by Tevin Brewer, who scored a game-high 14 points to go along with five assists, while Denver Jones added 13 points.
Trailing 27-22 at halftime, Georgia opened the second half on a 12-2 run during which five Bulldogs scored in the first four minutes to give Georgia a 34-29 advantage.
After Florida Atlantic rallied to take a 42-38 left on Clevon Brown’s dunk with 10:26 remaining, the Bulldogs countered with a 12-0 run over the next 5:06 to take a 50-42 lead they would not relinquish with 5:20 left.
Georgia held a huge advantage on the free-throw line, where the Bulldogs shot 15-for-21 (71.4 percent) compared to the Panthers’ 2-for-4 shooting.
The Panthers’ defense set the tone early. The Bulldogs didn’t make their third field goal of the game until Etter’s 3-pointer with 10:14 left in the first half pulled Georgia to within 11-7.
Florida International ended the first half on a 13-4 run to take a 27-22 lead at the intermission
Eric Lovett and Jones each scored six points in the first half to lead the Panthers, who shot just 10-for-32 (31.3 percent) from the floor, but seven of their field goals were 3-pointers in 16 attempts.
However, in the second half, they made just two of their 11 attempts from beyond the arc.
Bridges led Georgia with six first-half points, and no other Bulldog had more than three. Georgia shot 8-for-28 (28.6 percent) in the first half and was even worse from beyond the arc, making just two of eight attempts. The Bulldogs also had 11 turnovers.
–Field Level Media
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