ATHENS — One year after blowing a big lead in a loss to Alabama, Georgia gave its fans another scare on Wednesday night before recovering to beat the Crimson Tide 61-54.
Billy Humphrey, who hit a key late 3-pointer, led the Bulldogs with 13 points. Freshman Jeremy Price added 11.
Georgia (10-5 overall, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) never trailed while building leads of 15 points in each half. But the Bulldogs saw Alabama close to within four points with 1:42 left before they recovered with six straight points, including a 3-pointer and two free throws by Humphrey.
Georgia lost 78-76 at Alabama last season after leading by 15 at halftime.
Alabama (11-7) is 0-3 in SEC games for the first time since 1998-99, when the Crimson Tied lost its first four conference games in coach Mark Gottfried's first season.
Richard Hendrix led Alabama with 19 points but made only 3 of 9 free throws. Mykal Riley and Brandon Hollinger each added 10.
Georgia led by 15 for the last time at 48-33. A 3-pointer by Terrance Woodbury gave Georgia a 51-37 lead with 9:56 left.
Alabama finally made a run in the final 5 minutes.
Riley scored with 2:43 left to cut the deficit to 55-47. Following a turnover by Georgia's Sundiata Gaines, a basket by Hollinger pulled Alabama to within 55-49.
Alabama trailed only 55-51 after Riley made two free throws with 1:42 left, but Humphrey ended the 8-0 run with a 3-pointer with 1:10 left and added two free throws with 33 seconds left.
Georgia scored the first six points and never trailed. The Bulldogs made 6 of 9 3-pointers in the first half and led 35-25 at the break.
Even while keeping its lead in double figures, Georgia struggled to contain Hendrix, who scored
Alabama's first eight points of the second half. Hendrix didn't fully take advantage of his scoring opportunities, however, as he made only 2 of 6 free throws in the span.
Georgia's superior 3-point shooting was a key. The Bulldogs made 10 of 22 3-pointers, compared with 3-of-20 shooting for Alabama.