ATHENS -- Wesleyan grad Trey Thompkins scored 19 points and Georgia rallied in the second half to defeat Jacksonville State 67-64 Friday.
The last time these two teams met, in the 2007-08 season opener, Georgia won 107-65. This time around the Bulldogs got off to a slow start and trailed with less than 3 minutes to play.
Jacksonville State (2-3) led by as much as 11 in the first half. The Bulldogs (3-2) managed just one basket in the 10 minutes before halftime, a 3-pointer by Parkview grad Ricky McPhee that ended a 14-0 Gamecocks run.
''I was really disappointed with our team's approach when they came to the gym today,'' Georgia coach Mark Fox said. ''We did not come ready to play.''
Thompkins said the Bulldogs had to give Jacksonville credit.
''They came ready to play, and we didn't,'' he said. ''We were a bit stagnant. We have to approach the game with the right mental attitude.''
Georgia recaptured the lead in the second half on a Jeremy Price dunk with 9:55 to play and got up by as much as six. But the Gamecocks were back on top 57-55 with 2:57 remaining after Trenton Marshall hit a free throw.
Dustin Ware then hit his only basket of the game, a 3-pointer with 2:33 left, to put Georgia (3-2) up 58-57. Thompkins stole the ball on the Gamecocks' next possession, setting up another 3-pointer with 2:00 to go by McPhee, who contributed 16 points and eight rebounds.
Travis Leslie also scored 16 for the Bulldogs, 14 in the second half.
''The first half I came out too relaxed,'' Leslie said. ''I was relying on jump shots.''
''We kept telling our team that we can't be so jump-shot happy,'' he said. ''We have to get the ball inside, either thrown inside or drive to the rim. The kids got frustrated, which made it worse. As people know, we are not a great offensive team. When we hit a cold streak like that, we have to be much better defensively to stay in it.''
Jay-R Strowbridge led Jacksonville State with 16 points. Strowbridge was at the line for three shots with 1.3 seconds to play, but made only the first two as Georgia rebounded the last miss for the final margin.
''I was very pleased with our effort tonight,'' said Jacksonville State coach James Green. ''We played very well in the first half.''
Stephen Hall scored 13 for Jacksonville State, and Nick Murphy and Marshall added 12 apiece.