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NCAA Men's Basketball Scoreboard: Recap
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Georgia 82, South Carolina 75
Posted: Thursday February 28, 2002 12:43 AM
South Carolina
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Georgia
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ATHENS, Georgia (Ticker) -- Rashad Wright made Jim Harrick's 450th career victory one to remember.

Wright sank a 3-pointer with 5.4 seconds left to send the game into overtime and Steve Thomas scored six points in the extra session to give 15th-ranked Georgia an 82-75 victory over South Carolina.

Thomas scored 16 points and Ezra Williams 14 for Georgia (21-7, 10-5), which moved into a first-place tie with Florida in the Southeastern Conference East division with one game remaining.

The 63-year-old Harrick, currently in his third season at Georgia, improved to 450-224 in a career that includes stops at Pepperdine, UCLA and Rhode Island, including a national championship at UCLA in 1995.

"That means I've been around a long, long time, especially when you consider that I taught and coached for 13 years in junior high school," Harrick said. "It also means I spent a long time around a lot of great people." One of the those exceptional people on Wednesday was Wright, who prevented Georgia from losing to South Carolina for a fifth straight time. Wright made the game-winning jumper against Louisiana State on Saturday.

"Rashad Wright continues to be our savior," Harrick said. "He's absolutely fearless in those situations." South Carolina lost for the sixth time in 10 games. Rolando Howell had 19 points and nine rebounds for the Gamecocks (16-12, 6-9), who could have taken a step toward an NCAA Tournament at-large berth with a win.

"I had two goals coming into this game," South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. "One is to win. I thought for sure we could have won that game. Second was to come out of the game better than we came in and we are. One goal was accomplished. We took a step forward." Georgia started slowly, but closed the first half with a 25-4 run to take a 44-33 lead at intermission. Jarvis Hayes scored nine straight points during the run, beginning with a 3-pointer. He followed with two jumpers and a driving layup to give the Bulldogs a 38-31 lead.

But the Gamecocks worked their way back in the second half, scoring the first 11 points and taking the lead at 66-63 with 2:55 left on a three-point play by Chuck Eidson.

South Carolina led 70-67 when Aaron Lucas missed two free throws with 11 seconds remaining, giving Wright the chance to again play the role of hero.

Thomas scored six of Georgia's first eight points in overtime, including a pair of free throws with 28 seconds left that made it 78-73.

Odom did not use Lucas, a senior, in the extra session and later prohibited the media from talking to Lucas.

Georgia clinched a first-round bye in the SEC tournament by virtue of Kentucky's loss at Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs swept the Wildcats this season.

 


 
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