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Updated: Saturday, January 25, 2003 5:11 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(22) Georgia 85, Auburn 79
AUBURN TIGERS
Auburn Tigers
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GEORGIA BULLDOGS
Georgia Bulldogs
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ATHENS, Georgia (Ticker) -- Ezra Williams continues to shoot the ball well, and Steve Thomas found his touch at the line for 22nd-ranked Georgia.

Williams scored 19 points and Thomas added 16, including all six of his free throws, as the Bulldogs held on for an 85-79 victory over Auburn in a Southeastern Conference contest.

Georgia (12-4, 4-1 SEC East) got an amazing shooting display from Williams in an 81-76 overtime victory over Tennessee on Wednesday. Williams nailed all six of his 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of the second half, when he scored 21 of the Bulldogs' first 23 points.

Williams was 7-of-12 from the field on Saturday, including three-of-six from long range.

Georgia made 17-of-18 free throws, with Thomas hitting four down the stretch to help the Bulldogs build an 80-74 lead.

"We had a little bit of an answer in Steve Thomas," Georgia coach Jim Harrick said. "He was magnificent today. Without him, we were nowhere to be found."

Thomas added 11 rebounds and Damien Wilkins scored 12 points for the Bulldogs, who overcame a sluggish performance from Jarvis Hayes, who was limited to 12 points, well below his average of 18.5. Hayes made just 3-of-12 shots from the floor.

"We knew coming in that you have to stop Ezra Williams and Jarvis Hayes, but their other players stepped up too," Auburn coach Cliff Ellis said. "Damien Wilkins came in for them and hit some big shots, along with Rashad Wright."

Wilkins scored 12 points off the bench, Wright added eight and a team-high five assists and Chris Daniels had 12 points for the Bulldogs.

"We had five guys in double figures. I like that," Harrick said. "That's my kind of team."

Brandon Robinson scored 25 points and Marquis Daniels 20 for Auburn (15-4, 4-2 West), which has lost back-to-back games after a nine-game winning streak.

"What a great ballgame," Ellis added. "Hats off to Georgia. They played extremely well. Our team played hard and never quit."

Auburn moved to within one point at 72-71 on a layup by Lewis Monroe with 3:41 left before Daniels and Thomas sank jumpers to increase the lead to five points.

Georgia scored its final nine points from the line. Thomas sank four in a 36-second span and Daniels sank four more sandwiched around a free throw by Wright.

Auburn took its last lead at 58-57 on a layup by Robinson with 11:02 left. A jumper by Hayes put the Bulldogs ahead to stay at 62-60, beginning a 6-0 spurt.


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