ATHENS — Travis Leslie scored 15 points and Georgia won its seventh in a row Tuesday night, defeating Charleston Southern 70-55.
Leslie scored 12 of his points in the first half as the Bulldogs (10-2) romped to a 21-point halftime lead and defeated the Buccaneers for the seventh time in as many attempts dating to 1978. Georgia led by as many as 33 points before settling for the smallest margin of victory in a series marked by blowouts that had averaged 43 points.
The victory marked only the third time in the last 30 years that a Georgia team has gone unbeaten in December. The first Bulldogs team to do so reached the Final Four in the 1982-83 season. The 2002-03 team also went unbeaten in December.
"I really thought our team played well in the first half and I think we played well to start the second half," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "I don't think we played particularly well all throughout the second half, but we were able to get some young guys some much-needed time and experience."
Trey Thompkins added 13 points for Georgia and Jeremy Price contributed 10 points.
"We played really well tonight," Thompkins said. "We had guys contribute in all aspects of the game. Everyone played a certain part in the game, and I really think we got better as a team."
Jamarco Warren, a Gainesville High graduate, led Charleston Southern (6-7) with 24 points.
"We got off to a bad start tonight," Warren said. "We fought back in the second half and tried to get back into the game. We can get definitely better from this."
The Bulldogs held the Buccaneers well below the 80.5 points a game they averaged coming into the game. Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh said his team rushed its shots.
"I think we executed in the first half, but we didn't give ourselves enough time to execute," Radebaugh said. "We made one pass, then the shot was in the air, and we just can't do that. Our team wants to do so well so badly that sometimes we get ahead of ourselves a little bit, and that's something that we have to correct."