ATHENS, Ga. – Jabri Abdur-Rahim’s 3-pointer with less than 2 minutes remaining gave Georgia the lead, and the Bulldogs snapped their four-game losing streak by beating No. 18 Memphis 82-79 on Wednesday night.
The 3-pointer by Abdur-Rahim, who scored 15 points, gave the Bulldogs a 78-77 lead over the Tigers, who led most of the second half. Kario Oquendo, who scored a game-high 24 points, followed with a steal and jam that extended the lead to three points.
Following a missed free throw by Landers Nolley II of Memphis, Georgia’s Jailyn Ingram made one of two free throws for an 81-77 lead. A jam by Nolley, who led the Tigers with 17 points, cut the lead to two points.
Following Christian Wright’s free throw, which pushed Georgia’s lead to three points, Memphis was left with 4.5 seconds to set up a possible tying 3-pointer. Emoni Bates’ heave from just past midcourt bounced off the rim.
Memphis (5-2) suffered its second consecutive defeat, following Friday’s 78-59 loss to Iowa State that caused the Tigers to drop from No. 9 in the AP Top 25.
Georgia (3-5) took its second surprising win over a ranked Memphis team in less than two years. The Bulldogs beat then-No. 9 Memphis 65-62 on Jan. 4, 2020.
Abdur-Rahim’s 3-pointer gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the second half at 48-47. Nolley answered with a 3 to give the lead back to the Tigers.
Alex Lomax, who had 14 points, followed with another 3 for Memphis, but the Tigers couldn’t extend the lead.
Georgia’s Jaxon Etter made two free throws to tie the game at 75-all. Lester Quinones, who had 12 points, gave Memphis the lead with two free throws.
The Bulldogs took a big lead at 28-21. The Tigers’ defensive pressure eventually turned the momentum, and Memphis led 34-32 at halftime.
Georgia committed 13 turnovers, including 11 in the first half.
Memphis: Freshman Emoni Bates, who had 11 points, was assertive in the closing minutes, clearly showing no fear of taking the most important shots. He scored back-to-back baskets in one stretch. Ultimately, the Tigers couldn’t take advantage of their superior size.
Georgia: The Bulldogs were without starting point guard Aaron Cook, who was held out with an illness. Etter, a junior, made his first career start. Cook is the Bulldogs’ second-leading scorer, but the absence of his floor leadership was difficult to overcome in the first half. Wright, who had 17 points, helped fill the void.
Memphis: The Tigers will play their second of four games against Southeastern Conference opponents in a stretch of 18 days when they play at Mississippi on Saturday.
Georgia: The Bulldogs will continue their stretch of six consecutive home games in December when they face Jacksonville on Tuesday.