KNOXVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 06, 2013: Forward Jarnell Stokes #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Andrew Bruckse/Tennessee Athletics
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- Tennessee battled out of a hole to tie the game midway through the second half, but dropped a 68-62 decision to Georgia on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs (11-11, 5-4 SEC) won their fifth game in a row. Tennessee lost for the second consecutive time and stands at 11-10 overall, 3-6 in the SEC.
Georgia scored some form of points on its final seven offensive possessions of the game to hold off Tennessee.
Jarnell Stokes had his fourth double-double in a row and eighth of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan McRae tallied 17 points for the Vols.
Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led all scorers with 24 points. Kenny Gaines netted 12 off the bench. Vincent Williams added 10 for Georgia. No player grabbed more than four rebounds for Georgia.
After the Vols tied the game for the first time at 43, Georgia reeled off nine consecutive points to take a 52-43 lead with 7:40 left in regulation. Skylar McBee ended the bleeding with his second 3-pointer of the game.
That trey starting an 10-2 run for the Vols as Stokes scored seven points in a row to bring the Vols within one at 54-53 with five minutes left. But Caldwell-Pope responded by canning a 3-pointer with 4:27 left and a four-point Bulldog advantage.
Georgia continued to hold Tennessee at bay for the final four minutes. The Bulldogs scored on its final seven possessions and sealed the game on a 3-pointer by Caldwell-Pope with 51 seconds remaining. That dagger put UGA ahead, 66-58.
Down by double-figures, the Vols battled back to tie the game, 43-43, on a nifty acrobatic 3-point play by McRae in a lane with 13:28 left in the second half. It was the first time the game was tied since it tipped off.
Georgia led by as many as 10 points in the first half as the Bulldogs built a 35-26 lead at halftime. McRae led all scorers with 10 points in the first 20 minutes.
After the Vols cut a Georgia lead to as small as four at 26-22 with 3:21 left, but Georgia answered with back-to-back 3-pointers by Caldwell-Pope and Williams to retake a double-figure lead, 32-22.
The Vols hit the road for their next two games. Tennessee plays at South Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m., in a contest that will air on FSN and can be heard on the Vol Network. Then UT plays at Vanderbilt on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., in an SEC Network game.