Posted: Saturday, November 10th 2012 at 1:29am
Georgia hangs on to beat Jacksonville 68-62
By The Associated Press
ATHENS -- Georgia coach Mark Fox says the Bulldogs are a long way from a finished product, particularly if Donte' Williams doesn't get back in his good graces.
``I didn't think in the second that we played with much spirit,'' Fox said. ``I thought we were a little bit out of rhythm, but the important thing is that we were able to win the game.''
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 17 points, Nemanja Djurisic added 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Georgia to a 68-62 win over Jacksonville on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Georgia looked as if it has plenty of work to do before facing No. 1 Indiana in 10 days. The Bulldogs will play Youngstown State and Southern Mississippi next week before facing the Hoosiers in New York.
Fox kept Williams, who started all 32 games last season, in uniform on the bench the entire game.
Afterward, Fox said that Williams needed to be more responsible, but the coach did not offer a reason for his decision other than to say it was ``not a substance suspension or any of that nonsense.''
Fox would not say whether Williams, a 6-foot-9 junior who averaged 7.8 points and 5.1 rebounds last season, will play when the Bulldogs host Youngstown State on Monday.
``Donte' didn't play because I didn't think Donte' was as responsible as I want him to be,'' Fox said. ``He just wasn't as responsible as I want him to be in life, period. I'm just trying to help him grow.''
Georgia scored its last field goal with 6:19 remaining and hit just 24 of 38 free throw attempts. The Bulldogs struggled against the Dolphins' full-court pressure and were sluggish on defense as Jacksonville shot 61.3 percent from the field in the second half.
The teams combined for 44 turnovers, with Marcus Thornton committing six of Georgia's 23.
Keith McDougald finished with 13 points, Glenn Powell scored 11 and Russell Powell had 10 for Jacksonville.
The Dolphins shot 61.3 percent from the field in the second half, but they never led in the game.
Georgia was up by 15 points in the closing seconds of the first half before Javon Dawson's runner with 10:53 remaining cut the lead to five.
Caldwell-Pope, who was held scoreless until the 1:32 mark of the first half, was 10 of 12 from the free throw line and hit just one of five attempts beyond the 3-point arc. For the game, Georgia shot 21 percent on 3s.
``I wasn't as good as I could be,'' said Caldwell-Pope, an All-Southeastern Conference freshman last season and Georgia's leading returning scorer. ``In the first half, I let their defense speed me up and I didn't stay calm. In the second half, I calmed down and just played basketball, but overall I didn't play well enough.''
Fox took the blame for Georgia's struggles with full-court pressure, adding that the Bulldogs have yet to spend much time on getting the ball up the floor with defenders playing close and active.
``It was kind of ugly game,'' Fox said. ``We were turning the ball over. There were several fouls. The game just had no rhythm in the second half. We ran a bunch of guys in and out of there so we had no rhythm, but that's not unusual for a first game.''
The Bulldogs are coming off a 15-17 season. Jacksonville went 8-22 last season with just two victories coming outside the Atlantic Sun Conference.
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