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Georgia dogs Demon Deacons

POSTED: December 20, 2007 5:02 a.m.
ATHENS — Wake Forest was reminded Saturday that creating turnovers is less than half the battle.

Georgia proved it’s more important to take advantage of turnovers.

Georgia took the lead with a 15-0 run in the first half and overcame 26 turnovers to crush Wake Forest 72-50 on Saturday, giving the Bulldogs wins over the Demon Deacons for the second straight year.

Wake Forest committed 20 turnovers, a high number but six fewer than Georgia. Even so, Georgia outscored Wake Forest 27-15 in points off turnovers.

Georgia turned the ball over only eight times while outscoring the Demon Deacons 38-21 in the second half.

"They’ve got a very strong defense," said Georgia’s Terrance Woodbury of Wake Forest, which leads the Atlantic Coast Conference with its average of 20 turnovers forced per game. "In the second half, we took care of the ball better."

Wake Forest shot only 30.8 percent from the field, including 28.1 percent in the second half.

"Our offense is really, really a problem for us right now," said Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio. "You’re not going to beat a very athletic and quick team like Georgia at home not taking care of the ball. A lot of times we were dribbling right into their hands."

Wake Forest (5-3) suffered its second straight road loss to a Southeastern Conference team, following an 83-80 defeat at Vanderbilt on Wednesday. Wake Forest has lost three of four.

The lopsided score was a surprise, especially considering Georgia needed a late comeback to beat Division II Augusta State 81-74 in its most recent game on Monday.

"Augusta State is very, very, very good," said Georgia coach Dennis Felton. "I would say they’re better than a third of Division I teams. I meant it when I said that was the best game we played up to that point, and still we barely won."

Georgia (6-1) may have played even better against Wake Forest.

Woodbury scored a season-high 15 points. Sundiata Gaines had 15 points and 9 rebounds for Georgia, which also had 10 from freshman Jeremy Price and Billy Humphrey.

Georgia, which won at Wake Forest 87-86 on Dec. 2, 2006, set a season high for turnovers and had two players finish with four fouls. The Bulldogs overcome those problems with superior shooting.

Georgia shot 52.7 percent from he field and outrebounded Wake Forest 44-33.

The Demon Deacons made only 4 of 21 3-point attempts (19 percent).

"I am chalking up today as a learning experience," Gaudio said. "Our play was pathetic at times."

Ishmael Smith led Wake Forest with 14 points. James Johnson had 12 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double.

Georgia led 34-29 at halftime despite 18 turnovers.

"I think it probably helped our players a lot to know we were in total control of the game even with the turnovers," Felton said.

"It’s because we defended well, shutting down their transition game."

The Bulldogs trailed 12-9 early before taking control with 15 straight points.

Albert Jackson, a sophomore forward making his season debut after a six-game suspension for academic reasons, scored on a jam to start the 15-0 run. Woodbury added six straight points for a 24-12 lead.

Wake Forest closed the half with eight straight points, and Johnson opened the second half with a basket to cut the Georgia lead to 34-31. Following an inside basket by Jackson, Woodbury hit a 3-pointer and added a three-point play for a 42-31 lead.

Georgia kept the lead in double figures the rest of the game.

Notes: Georgia freshman Jeremy Jacob, is expected to miss a month with a broken foot.



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