ATHENS, Ga. — Anthony Edwards of Georgia scored 18 points, including a late 3-pointer to slow No. 13 Auburn’s comeback attempt, and the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 65-55 on Wednesday night.
Auburn (22-4, 9-4 Southeastern Conference) suffered its second straight loss to a team with a losing record following seven straight wins. The winning streak ended with Saturday’s 85-73 loss at Missouri.
Georgia led 55-50 when Edwards’ 3-pointer with 2:15 remaining stretched the advantage to eight points.
J’Von McCormick led Auburn with 22 points. Samir Doughty, who had 15 points, cut Georgia’s lead to 58-53 with a three-point play with 1:02 remaining. Toumani Camara sank seven of eight free throws in the final 1:01 to help protect the Bulldogs’ lead.
It was a much-needed win for Georgia (13-13, 3-10), which had lost eight of nine, including four straight under second-year coach Tom Crean. The improbable win over the Tigers came before a sellout crowd.
Freshman forward Isaac Okoro missed his second straight game for Auburn with a hamstring injury. Another freshman, Allen Flanigan, again replaced Okoro in the lineup and scored three points.
Auburn was left with a three-guard lineup and appeared to miss the scoring of Okoro, who averages 13.1 points.
Edwards, who leads the nation’s freshmen with his average of 19 points, scored his first basket on a fancy layup midway through the first half. Edwards followed with a long 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 19-12 lead. A layup by Rayshaun Hammonds stretched the lead to nine points.
With Georgia leading 21-14, Crean gave Edwards and other starters a break with 8:33 remaining, The Tigers immediately launched a 9-0 run — with all the scoring coming from McCormick.
McCormick’s scoring spree gave Auburn a 23-22 advantage. The run ended on Anfernee McLemore’s turnover on an offensive foul. With Edwards and other starters back on the court, the Bulldogs took advantage of the turnover to start their own 9-0 run, including seven points from Sahvir Wheeler, who had 13 points.
Hammonds also had 13 points and Camara had 12.
Auburn: McCormick was the Tigers’ floor leader and he continued to emerge as a go-to scorer. He topped 20 points for the third time in the last four games and only the fifth time this season. He was effective on long-range jumpers, short floaters and drives to the basket.
Georgia: Edwards appeared to have regained some strength after being slowed by flu-like symptoms for the last three games He was held to only six points, matching his season low, in a 74-69 loss at Texas A&M on Saturday. Edwards was active on the boards with six rebounds, but some of his season-high seven turnovers came on unforced errors.
Auburn: Returns home to play Tennessee on Saturday.
Georgia: Visits Vanderbilt on Saturday night.