December 31, 2019 / 2:36 AM / 21 days ago

Georgia uses strong start to 2nd half to rout Austin Peay

Rayshaun Hammonds scored 17 points and Donnell Gresham, Jr. added 11 as the Georgia Bulldogs blitzed the Austin Peay Governors out of halftime and cruised to a 78-48 win in Athens, Ga., on Monday evening.

Gresham hit a pair of 3-pointers while Hammonds scored 5 points in the decisive 22-2 run to open the second half as Georgia (9-3) took a commanding 53-28 lead with 11:40 to play.

The Bulldogs’ defense, which has been a work in progress all season, stymied the Governors (6-7) over a period of 7:32 as Austin Peay hit only one field goal before Jordyn Adams’ triple cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 55-32 with 9:07 remaining.

The Governors shot only 26.6 percent as they made only 1 of 14 shots to finish the game.

It was a tough night, however, for Bulldogs’ leading scorer Anthony Edwards, who came in averaging 19.7 points per game. He finished with nine points as he was limited to only eight shots from the floor in 28 minutes.

Georgia shot 55.4 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from behind the 3-point line, a welcome sight for coach Tom Crean since his team had shot only 29.3 percent on 3s entering the game.

The Governors were back to a full complement of players after dressing only eight in their 80-69 win over Alabama State on Dec. 22. Leading scorer Terry Taylor (23.5 ppg) once again led Austin Peay in scoring with 18 points while Adams added 15.

Georgia jumped out to a 16-4 lead behind the inside play of Hammonds and Toumani Camara, who had six points each to open the game.

Although the Governors started just 5 of 20 from the field and trailed 26-11 with 8:31 remaining in the first half, Adams scored nine points as Austin Peay closed the half on a 15-5 run while making 7 of 10 field goals to end the first half.

Austin Peay enters Ohio Valley Conference play on Thursday as the Governors host Southeast Missouri. Georgia finishes its nonconference ledger on Saturday with a date at No. 9 Memphis.

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