ATHENS, Ga. -- Southern Miss forced a turnover and scored with just 30 seconds remaining in the first overtime period to best Georgia 62-60 Thursday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 17 points to lead Georgia (1-2) in scoring for the third consecutive game. Junior forward Marcus Thornton pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
"It was a hard-fought game, and I want to congratulate Southern Miss because they made the plays to win and they deserve credit for that," said head coach Mark Fox. "What we have to recognize is that you can't leave 10 points at the foul line and get outrebounded like we did in the second half and win basketball games. I thought those were the two keys - second-half rebounding and our poor performance at the foul line."
Southern Miss (2-0) opened the game on a 15-3 run, but Georgia battled back to enter the locker room down only four, capped off by a 30 foot three-point shot at the buzzer from senior Sherrard Brantley to shrink the Golden Eagles' lead to 31-27.
Georgia tied the game up at 55-55 with just 1:26 remaining on a baseline floater from Nemi Djurisic, two of his 12 second half points. With under just 1.4 seconds remaining in regulation, Georgia forced a turnover to send the game to overtime.
Georgia scored first in the overtime period, grabbing its first lead since it led 3-0 early in the first half, but failed to score on its final two overtime possessions.
Southern Miss was led by Jerrold Brooks and Dwayne Davis who each scored 17 and 14 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs' bench outscored the Southern Miss' bench 20-15. Georgia had 12 players play at least six minutes and nine players play 10 minutes or more.
Southern Miss out-rebounded Georgia 22-13 in the second half, and led Georgia in points from the paint, 30-12.
Georgia will return to action on Monday as it faces No. 1 Indiana in the championship rounds of the 2012 Progressive Legends Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The game will be televised on ESPNU and tip is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
University of Georgia