ATHENS, Georgia (Ticker) -- Something about Kentucky brings out the best in Georgia.
Jonas Hayes scored 19 points and Damien Wilkins added 14 as the Bulldogs notched their second upset over the eighth-ranked Wildcats this season with a 74-68 Southeastern Conference triumph.
Georgia (12-10, 4-7 SEC East) earned its first conference victory with a 65-57 win at Kentucky on January 15. The Bulldogs entered that contest after back-to-back losses - just like Saturday's rematch - and found the sight of the East Division leaders to their liking yet again.
Kentucky (17-4, 7-3) led throughout the first half and built a 31-23 lead at intermission. Georgia opened the second half with a 13-4 spurt to take its first lead at 36-35 on Wilkins' layup with 15:29 to go.
"I told the team at halftime that I was awfully confident we would win the game because I liked the way we were battling defensively," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said. "We just wasted lots of offensive possessions in the first half."
Chuck Hayes pulled the Wildcats within 55-53 with two foul shots with 5:47 to go. The Bulldogs scored the next six points to create some breathing room, including a 3-pointer from Levi Stukes and two free throws by Jonas Hayes.
The Bulldogs have beaten the Wildcats in consecutive games for only the sixth time in the 122-game history of the series.
Georgia held a 38-35 edge on the glass after a commanding 36-23 advantage in the first matchup.
"I'm disappointed in our rebounding," said Kentucky coach Tubby Smith, a former Georgia coach. "We were once again outrebounded. Georgia has been better than us in both of these games."
The Wildcats played their third straight game without Georgia native Gerald Fitch, their leading scorer. Fitch has a sprained right index finger.
Georgia welcomed back leading scorer Rashad Wright, who sat out Wednesday's loss at Vanderbilt to mark the first absence of his career. The senior guard struggled all game with his shot and made only 1-of-14, but got to the line frequently and finished with 14 points.
"We really wanted to make a big impact on the outcome of the game with our aggressiveness on defense, and Rashad really got us started," Felton said. "His pressure on the ball gave the other guys the confidence to be aggressive as well."
Jonas Hayes did his damage inside against his counterpart, Chuck Hayes. Jonas Hayes made 8-of-11 shots while Chuck Hayes managed only nine points and nine rebounds.
Stukes scored all 12 points in the second half, drilling four 3-pointers. The Bulldogs heated up after a 32 percent first half to make 13-of-26 shots after the break.