COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Ticker) -- With an off-the-court scandal surrounding the team, 25th-ranked Georgia had a pretty good week on the court.
Jarvis Hayes had 19 points and 11 rebounds and Steve Thomas added 14 and 11 as the Bulldogs concluded the regular season with a 60-55 overtime victory over Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina.
Georgia (19-8, 11-5 SEC East) has won two of three games since the allegations by former Bulldog Tony Cole became public, including Tuesday's rousing triumph over Florida. Among the accusations are that Cole received money from assistant coach Jim Harrick Jr., who was dismissed earlier this week.
"We have put this behind us and we are focusing on nothing but basketball," Georgia coach Jim Harrick said. "It is kind of a shame that this has happened. This team is a great group of guys. This situation has bonded them."
The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half and put together a big run with starting guard Ezra Williams on the bench. Georgia improved to 3-0 in overtime this season and 13-23 all time in Columbia.
Chris Warren scored 14 points and fellow senior Tony Kitchings added 10 and 13 rebounds in their final game at the Carolina Center for South Carolina (12-15, 5-11), which has lost four of its last five games and fell to 0-7 against ranked opponents this season.
"It was a disappointing loss," South Carolina coach Dave Odom said. "It was a great effort. We executed well and we expected to win. It certainly wasn't for lack of opportunities. Maybe we're not at the point yet where we can cash in on something like this."
The game had no impact on the conference standings. Georgia will meet Arkansas in the first round of the SEC tournament, while South Carolina will face Alabama.
"You are going to need some bodies and legs if you are going to play four nights in a row," Harrick said about the SEC tournament. "I think that (the format) is interesting. I think that it is something the conference needs to take a look at. We have the third-best record in the league, yet we do not get a first-round bye. Mississippi State is 9-7 in conference play and they get a first-round bye."
Hayes made two free throws 20 seconds into overtime and the Gamecocks' Chuck Eidson answered with a jumper in the lane. Hayes hit another pair from the line with 4:16 left, but Warren hit a 3-pointer to give the Gamecocks a 55-54 edge with 3:48 left.
After Thomas and reserve guard Richard Wehunt missed jumpers, Warren, Michael Boynton and Kitchings each missed. Kitchings attempt led to a long rebound and a fast-break layup by Hayes that put Georgia up for good, 56-55, with 1:23 left.
Chris Daniels had 10 points and seven rebounds for Georgia, which shot just 34 percent (21-of-62). Williams and backcourt mate Rashad Wright combined to make just 4-of-19 shots.
Hayes had eight points and six boards in the first half, when the Bulldogs held a 26-22 edge.
Rolando Howell scored four of his 10 points during a 13-2 run that Marcus Morrison capped with a dunk for a 43-33 lead with 11:51 left in the second half. Thomas responded with 1-of-2 free throws, but Kitchings hit a layup to give the Gamecocks their biggest lead, 45-34, with 10:56 to go.
Hayes capped an 8-0 burst with a free throw to pull the Bulldogs within, 48-45, with 5:26 remaining. The Gamecocks went over five minutes without a basket until Warren completed a fast break with a layup to make it 50-45 with 4:32 left in the half.
Wright answered with a 3-pointer 14 seconds later and after Eidson and Boynton each missed attempts from behind the arc before Daniels sank two free throws to tie the score at 50-50.
Howell missed a pair of jumpers on South Carolina's next possession and Wright and Daniels each misfired for Georgia. Powell committed a charge with five seconds remaining, but Wehunt's jumper from the baseline was way off as time expired.