- Associated Press - Friday, November 25, 2016

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - Yante Maten scored 16 points and had nine rebounds to lead Georgia to a 77-59 victory over Gardner-Webb on Friday, but it was far from a one-man show.

Eleven Bulldogs scored and the team benefited from 35 bench points, both season highs for Georgia.

That group included Mike Edwards, who scored a season-high 10 points, and Pape Diatta, a junior college transfer who added nine points and six rebounds.

“Pape needs lots of time when the clock’s ticking to grow up and learn what it takes at this level,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “All of those guys need a lot of game time and we were able to get significant minutes to all of them. Really, it was good for us to get those guys on the court.”

Georgia (4-2) bounced back from a 65-54 loss to No. 5 Kansas on Tuesday, a game in which Maten scored 30 points and had 13 rebounds.

The Bulldogs didn’t arrive back to their dorms until 4 a.m. Wednesday and appeared sluggish in the first half.

They led just 40-37 at halftime.

“We were a little bit tired,” Diatta acknowledged.

The Bulldogs came out energized in the second half.

Georgia held Gardner-Webb (2-4) to one field goal in the first 6:46 of the second half and outscored the Runnin’ Bulldogs 11-4 during that stretch to take a 51-41 lead.

Georgia expanded its advantage to 63-45 when Juwan Parker converted a 3-point play and Maten followed with a layup with 9:26 left.

The Bulldogs, who improved to 3-0 at home this season, also scored 28 points off Gardner-Webb’s 19 turnovers.

“I just think the second half was the story,” Gardner-Webb coach Tim Craft said. “Georgia was terrific defensively and made everything really difficult on us. We just struggled to score and turned the ball over in the second half, and we led to easy baskets for them.”

David Efianayi led Gardner-Webb with 15 points and LaQuincy Rideau scored 11.

J.J. Frazier added 10 points and six assists for Georgia, which shot 47.3 percent (26 of 55) from the field and limited Gardner-Webb to 32.1 percent shooting.

“We have a lot of guys who can come in and contribute,” said Diatta, who transferred from the College of Southern Idaho. “I feel like at the end, (Gardner-Webb) couldn’t hold on.”

UP NEXT

Georgia: This was the first of five consecutive home games for Georgia, which plays host to Morehouse on Nov. 30.

Gardner-Webb: The Runnin’ Bulldogs will play their second home game of the season against Coker on Nov. 29.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia needed to rebound from its loss to Kansas and is entering a stretch that could help pad its victory total. The Bulldogs have won at least 20 games in each of the past three seasons.

TIP-INS:

Maten tied his season high with three blocks. …Georgia had a season-high 11 steals. …Georgia’s William Jackson has at least one 3-pointer in three consecutive games.

HE SAID IT:

“Pape has a real versatile game. He can shoot the 3, he can drive it, he can rebound, he can post and score. That’s one of the things we really like about Pape.” - Georgia coach Mark Fox

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