ATHENS — Forced to the perimeter by a collapsing North Carolina A&T defense, Georgia responded with a near-record performance from beyond the 3-point line on Sunday.
Freshman Trey Thompkins scored 22 points — 18 in the first half — and grabbed 12 rebounds, the first double-double of his career. Senior Corey Butler added 19 points and was one rebound and three assists shy of a triple-double in Georgia's 98-68 win over the Aggies. Jeremy Price chipped in 15 points for Georgia.
Georgia (8-4) hit 17 of 35 3-pointers, including five apiece by Thompkins and Butler. The school record is 18, set March 26, 1998, against Fresno State.
"It was North Carolina A&T's game plan to do everything they could to not allow us to put the ball inside," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said. "They always had everybody who was not on the ball packed into the post. You always want more balance, but if you are playing smart basketball, you take what they give you."
Thompkins, a 6-foot-9 forward, has a smooth touch from the outside.
As a freshman, Thompkins said, "Teams may not be expecting me to shoot. If they leave me open, I have the ability to shoot."
"We have been talking about Trey asserting himself more," Felton said. "He is an offensive threat, whether it is scoring or playmaking. He can do some of everything. He obviously can shoot or play with his back to the basket."
Georgia unleashed a barrage of 3-pointers in the first half, hitting a season-high 10 before intermission in building a 51-27 halftime lead.
"You have got to hand it to Georgia," Aggies coach Jerry Eaves said. "They shot lights out today. They were just tremendous. It has to feel good for them because I know that they have had a hard time shooting the ball consistently lately. It absolutely switched for them today. They were hitting all net all day."
The Bulldogs played their third straight game without leading scorer Terrance Woodbury, who continues to be sidelined with a sore ankle.
"Terrance was keeping up with how many rebounds and assists I needed for a triple double," Butler said. "He has to do something over there. I didn't make it, but I hope I can be consistent every night."
Dwane Joshua came off the bench to lead North Carolina A&T with 17 points, and Robert Johnson scored 15.
Georgia bolted out to a 13-4 lead with 15:41 to go in the first half when Zac Swansey hit the team's third straight 3-pointer.
The Aggies cut the gap to 24-19 with 9:24 to go in the half, but the Bulldogs went on a 17-2 run.
Butler hit four of his five 3-pointers in the second half, including three straight in just over two minutes as the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 66-41 with 12:28 to go.