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SEC MEN'S TOURNAMENT - QUARTERFINAL - Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tennessee

Frazier's free throw lifts Georgia past South Carolina

617 days ago
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- J.J. Frazier hit 1 of 2 free throws with 2.1 seconds left, and Georgia rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat South Carolina 65-64 Friday night in the Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinals for the Bulldogs' fifth-straight win.

The sixth-seeded Bulldogs (19-12) are back in the semifinals for a third-straight season, something only they and Kentucky can claim, and Georgia will play the 16th-ranked Wildcats on Saturday to have a chance at this league's automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

Georgia trailed by as many as 11 points before beating South Carolina for the third time this season. The Bulldogs hit seven of their final eight free throws.

Frazier scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half. Yante Maten added 17, and Charles Mann had 10.

The third-seeded Gamecocks (24-8) led much of the game. Sindarius Thornwell scored 23 points, and Laimonas Chatkevicius added 14.

Frazier scored on a floater with 24 seconds left for the sixth tie of the game and fifth of the second half at 64. Thornwell had the ball with a chance to win the game with a bucket when Frazier stole the ball. Thornwell was called for a foul, sending Frazier to the line.

The Georgia guard missed his second attempt, Mindaugas Kacinas got the rebound and tried to throw it down the court where Mann caught it before flinging it up into the air in celebration as the Bulldogs beat South Carolina for the third time this season.

With these teams meeting for a third time this season, they combined for a physical and sloppy first half where Georgia had more turnovers (10) than made shots with South Carolina at least matching in both category with 11 of each.

South Carolina led 45-34 with 13:19 left. Mann hit a pair of free throws with 3:03 left to give Georgia its first lead at 60-59. South Carolina missed five of its final six shots.

The Gamecocks led 29-26 at halftime only after officials reviewed a dunk by Georgia forward Kenny Paul Geno and ruled he didn't beat the buzzer in a confusing end where players stopped, thinking the half was over with a couple seconds left.

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TIP-INS

Georgia: Frazier had only five points at halftime and was 1-of-7 shooting in the first half. He finished 6 of 14 from the floor and 7 of 10 at the free throw line. ... The Bulldogs outshot South Carolina at the line, hitting 20 of 27 compared to 10 of 15. ... The Bulldogs also had a 39-38 edge on the boards and outscored the Gamecocks 34-28 in the paint.

South Carolina: Michael Carrera, who missed the game with a hip injury, is listed as day-to-day. He averages 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds. ... The Gamecocks beat Georgia for the first time in three games in this tournament.

UP NEXT:

Georgia: No. 16 Kentucky on Saturday.

South Carolina: Likely NCAA Tournament berth.