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Thompkins turns it up at end to rally UGA past Tide

ATHENS -- Wesleyan grad Trey Thompkins is showing the kind of leadership first-year Georgia coach Mark Fox needs from his leading scorer.

''We have talked with a lot our younger guys about the fact that they've played so many minutes and that they have to start playing like upperclassmen,'' Fox said. ''Tonight Trey finished the game like an upperclassman.''

Thompkins had 21 points and a career-high 17 rebounds to help Georgia overcome a 13-point second-half deficit and beat Alabama 76-70 on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (12-13, 4-8 Southeastern Conference) won their third straight at home to improve to 11-3 this season at Stegeman Coliseum.

Georgia snapped an 11-game losing streak to SEC Western Division opponents.

Alabama (14-12, 4-8) has lost five of six, but the Tide took their biggest lead when Mikhail Torrance's two free throws made it 52-39 with 11:39 left.

The Bulldogs took their first lead in nearly 13 minutes when Thompkins banked in a 14-footer to make it 61-60 with 4:12 remaining. Less than two minutes later, Thompkins' long jumper from the left wing ended a 3:28 run during which he outscored Alabama 9-1 and pulled down four rebounds.

''My teammates needed me to rebound and score tonight in the heat of the battle, and that's just what I have to do,'' the sophomore forward said.

Travis Leslie had 16 points, and Parkview grad Ricky McPhee added 13 for Georgia.