Jan. 7, 2004
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Scooter McFadgon scored 31 points and Brandon Crump added 14 Wednesday night to lead Tennessee to an 89-65 victory over Georgia in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
The Volunteers (9-1, 1-0) led by as many as 19 points in the first half only to see the Bulldogs (8-4, 0-1) rally to cut it to six before halftime.
Tennessee put the game away by opening the second half with a 24-5 run that pushed its lead to 64-36 with 11:55 remaining. The Vols had four 3-pointers during the spurt, including two by C.J. Watson and another by Crump, a center.
Georgia shaved the lead to 17 with 4:11 left, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get.
Georgia didn't look much like the team that beat then-No. 3 Georgia Tech 83-80 in double overtime last weekend.
The Bulldogs' four senior and one freshman starters usually play nearly every minute but got into foul trouble early in the second half and couldn't defend Tennessee's perimeter shooting very well.
And their 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc wasn't enough to help new coach Dennis Felton fare better in his conference debut.
The Vols were 12-of-19 from 3-point range, and McFadgon, who tied a career high in total points, accounted for half of their 3s on 6-of-9 shooting.
Jemere Hendrix added 12 points for the Vols, who also were buoyed by going 19-of-26 from the foul line.
Damien Wilkins led the Bulldogs with 19 points while freshman Levi Stukes added 18 and Rashad Wright had 10.
Georgia led 4-0 in the opening minutes, and Tennessee took over from there, jumping out to a 27-8 lead with 8:45 to go in the first half.
The Bulldogs made only four of their first 15 attempts from the floor, but they warmed up.
After John Winchester's 3-pointer put the Vols ahead by 18, Georgia needed just a little over a minute to get back into the game.
Stukes, Wright and Wilkins hit consecutive 3s, and Wilkins capped an 11-3 run with another basket to cut the lead to 35-25 with 3:26 remaining.
Georgia whittled the lead to six, but Tennessee finished the first half with a 6-1 spurt to restore its lead to 11.
Tennessee was on pace to set a school record in 3-point shooting percentage, but reserve Pee-Wee Gash missed two 3s in the final minute to drop the percentage to 63.2.
The Vols were 12-of-17, or 70.6 percent, before his attempts, which would
have bested the school-record 64.3 percent in a game against North Carolina
State in 1992.