ATHENS, Ga. — Four Georgia players scored in double-digits but it wasn’t enough to keep the Bulldogs from falling to the Iona Gaels 81-78 in overtime Saturday night at Stegeman Coliseum.
Freshman Charles Mann scored a career-high 18 points in 31 minutes Saturday, but he was 7-of-13 from the foul line in the Bulldogs' overtime defeat. (Photo by Sonny Kennedy/Special to Dawgs247)
Georgia shot just 20-of-37 from the free throw stripe, including 6-of-15 in the overtime period. The Bulldogs fell to 2-7 on the season with their third defeat in a row and seventh in the past eight games.
“Well, that was a tough loss,” Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. “I am sick of losing like our team is. (Iona) made some big baskets to beat us, so you have to give them credit for that."
This game marked the emergence of Georgia's three freshmen players. Charles Mann (18 points), Brandon Morris (12) and Kenny Gaines (6) each scored career-highs in a losing effort. Mann and Morris each added a career-high seven rebounds, while Morris also started for the first time as a UGA player.
Georgia outrebounded Iona 48-26 and got 28 points from its bench, but poor foul shooting was the difference down the stretch.
The Bulldogs were 20-of-37 (54.1 percent) from the line for the game.
"We missed 16 free throws from the second half on," Fox said. "I think that we have shot over 6,000 free throws in practice. However, we have not transferred all of that practice to the games, and that is very frustrating.”
Bulldogs sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope notched his second straight double-double performance, tallying 18 points and 10 rebounds, while junior forward Donte’ Williams also picked up a double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.
Georgia grabbed a 76-75 lead with 34 seconds left in overtime off a jumper from Gaines, but Iona responded with a Curtis Dennis 3-pointer seconds later and shortly after hit three critical free throws to secure the win.
Georgia took a 36-35 lead into halftime, and led by as many seven in the second half, but Iona (4-4) went on a 10-0 run midway through the half.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs took a 62-60 lead with four minutes remaining in regulation off a Caldwell-Pope steal and slam, but the Gaels’ Sean Armand hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 66-66 with just 54 seconds remaining. Both teams had possessions in the final minutes of regulation, but neither could convert, sending the game into an extra five minutes.
In overtime, Iona took advantage of Georgia’s poor free throw shooting to pick up its fourth victory of the year and first over an SEC opponent in 27 years.
The Gaels were led by Lamont Jones, one of four Gaels in double-figures, who scored 25 points.
Georgia will host a “Businessfan’s Special” on Tuesday, when it takes on Mercer at 11:30 a.m.
UGA Sports Communications contributed to this story.