Guards Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines combined to score 33 points as Georgia survived UNC-Pembroke 81-69 in a college basketball exhibition game at Stegeman Coliseum on Monday night. The Dogs shot 57 percent from the field in the second half to pull out the victory.
“It’s good to get out in front of fans and play,” Bulldogs coach Mark Fox said. “I think we showed some typical first-game jitters. I think we had a difficult time adjusting to how the game is going to be officiated this year. A lot of guys got a ton of minutes, which is necessary — let them play through some mistakes and try to teach them. I thought it was a good starting point for us.”
The Bulldogs traded the lead with UNC-Pembroke for much of the first half, but they used a 6-0 run in the final two minutes of the first half to grab a 38-37 halftime advantage.
With 15 minutes remaining, Cameron Forte gave Georgia the lead for good with a mid-range jumper to put the Bulldogs up 44-43. The Bulldogs slowly gained separation and grabbed a 10-point lead when Mann spun through the lane for a layup to put Georgia up 70-60 with seven minutes remaining. Georgia closed the game on a 6-0 run, including a Tim Dixon dunk as time expired.
“Our guys have to play,” Fox said. “We don’t have a lot of depth in certain places, so it’s critical that our freshman play.”
Quamain Rose scored a game-high 23 for UNC-Pembroke.
Pembroke was chosen fifth in the Peach Belt Conference preseason poll, but the Braves showed their mettle against the ACC and SEC in exhibitions, playing both North Carolina and N.C. State tough as well, losing to the Tar Heels by 19 and to the Wolfpack by 11.
The Dogs open their season with two Friday night home games, meeting Wofford in the opener this Friday at 7:30 p.m. and then facing rival Georgia Tech on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.