- Associated Press - Saturday, February 11, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - J.J. Frazier lived up to his word and made sure Georgia changed its recent history of road frustration.

Frazier scored 20 of his 29 points after halftime Saturday as Georgia erased a 14-point, second-half deficit to beat Tennessee 76-75 and snap a three-game losing streak.

The comeback enabled Georgia (14-11, 5-7 SEC) to change its frustrating recent track record in road games. Georgia had lost its last four road contests by a total of 16 points, including overtime defeats at No. 17 Florida and No. 15 Kentucky.

“This week I told them I wasn’t going to let us quit,” said Frazier, who also had six assists. “I wasn’t going to let us just lay down. Sometimes you can give everything you have and it’s just not good enough, but I wanted us to continue to give everything we had.”

Tennessee (14-11, 6-6) has led by at least 13 points in the second half of each of its last three losses.

“We should know by now how to maintain a lead and keep it going,” said Tennessee freshman forward Grant Williams, who scored 30 points to match his career high.

After trailing 53-39 with 15 minutes left, Georgia tied it at 58-all on a pair of Frazier free throws with 8:21 remaining.

Frazier either scored or assisted on 22 straight Georgia points during the Bulldogs’ comeback.

Georgia rallied without its leading scorer. Yante Maten, who entered the day averaging 19.7 points to rank third in the conference, scored seven points in 17 minutes before fouling out. He played just four minutes in the second half.

Frazier finally put Georgia in front 63-62 on a driving layup high off the glass with 4:45 left. Tennessee regained the lead on a pair of Williams free throws with 3:52 left, but Mike Edwards scored on a Frazier assist to start a 7-0 run and put Georgia back in front for good with 3:34 remaining.

“We’ve been saying the last couple of weeks it would turn our way, it would turn our way,” Frazier said. “But the other day I told them we’ve got to make it turn our way. We’ve got to find a way to make the plays at the end of the game.”

Tennessee got to within 73-71 on Lamonte Turner’s 3-pointer with 59.5 seconds remaining, but Frazier answered by driving to the basket for a 3-point play with 20.8 seconds left.

A Turner 3-pointer at the buzzer accounted for the final score.

That final Turner 3-pointer came after a missed Tennessee 3 in which Volunteers coach Rick Barnes wanted a goaltending call. Had goaltending been called, Georgia would have had the ball and a one-point lead with several seconds left.

“No one’s had tougher luck than Georgia this year, so I can’t sit here and complain about that,” Barnes said. “They’ve had as many bad bounces as anyone in the country.”

BIG PICTURE

Georgia: The Bulldogs responded to their slump by shuffling their lineup. Freshman Tyree Crump made his first career start. Edwards, a sophomore, made his first start of the season and second of his career. Crump and Edwards replaced William Jackson II and Parker in the lineup.

Crump scored 13 points and Edwards had six. Parker had 11 points in 30 minutes off the bench. Jackson was scoreless in nine minutes.

Tennessee: This loss dealt a crushing blow to the NCAA Tournament hopes of Tennessee, which entered the day 38th in the RPI. The loss also continued a familiar pattern for Tennessee. The Vols have led by at least 13 points in five of their last eight losses.

HONORING THE CHAMPS

Tennessee saluted its 1966-67 and 1976-77 SEC championship teams during a halftime ceremony.

FAMILIAR NEMESIS

This isn’t the first time Frazier has delivered big numbers against Tennessee. He scored 28 points in Georgia’s 81-72 victory over the Vols last season.

NOTABLE NUMBERS

Tennessee lost despite having 19 assists and only five turnovers. … Georgia shot 51.8 percent from the floor, its highest field-goal percentage since a Dec. 17 victory over Charleston Southern. … Maten had scored at least 18 points in seven straight games before Saturday.

UP NEXT

Georgia hosts Mississippi State on Tuesday.

Tennessee visits Kentucky on Tuesday.

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More AP College Basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org

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Follow Steve Megargee at www.twitter.com/stevemegargee


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