ATHENS — On Monday night against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the Georgia basketball team experienced an ending almost exactly the same as the Bulldogs’ win against Wofford on Saturday.
This time, the Bulldogs were on the opposite end of the last second overtime bucket as Islander Kevin Palmer’s 30-foot heave banked in to give TAMUCC an 80-79 overtime victory over the host Bulldogs at Stegeman Coliseum.
"We didn’t play as well as we’d like to," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said. "Down the stretch, we made a couple huge plays to get ourselves back out in front and have a chance to win, but we lost."
Georgia (7-4) had seemingly pulled the win away from the Islanders (6-6) late in the overtime session. Trailing 77-73 with less than a minute remaining, Georgia scored five points in 16 seconds to erase the four-point deficit. Following a TAMUCC foul, Dustin Ware made the first of two free throws to make the score 79-77, but missed the second. The Islanders called timeout to set up their final possession.
Palmer caught the inbounds pass around midcourt, took a few dribbles across the timeline and launched the game-winning shot, which bounced straight off the backboard and into the net.
It is the second time in as many games Georgia had a game decided at the overtime buzzer. On Saturday against Wofford, Zac Swansey scored on a running 3-pointer from the right wing to give Georgia a 74-73 win over the Terriers.
Palmer scored a game-high 31 points on 10 of 22 shooting, including six 3-point buckets. Ware scored a career-high 22 points in the loss for the Bulldogs. Travis Leslie added 19 for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs assumed control of the game early, jumping out to an 8-0 lead and extending that to a 23-11 lead with about five minutes left in the half. However, the Bulldogs would suffer through field goal droughts of eight minutes in the first half and five minutes in the second half to allow the Islanders to get back into the game.
The lead would change hands nine times following halftime as both teams struggled to take care of the basketball. Each team committed 25 turnovers on the night.
"We actually talked a lot at halftime about how many wasted opportunities we had, especially on the offensive end, but we had already turned the ball over too much by halftime," Felton said. "We knew that they were a team that creates turnovers, 20 a game, so we knew exactly what we were playing against. We just did not execute well enough against that."
Georgia will have the next few days off before it next competes against North Carolina A&T at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum.