Georgia defeats Eastern Kentucky 64-57 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Georgia defeats Eastern Kentucky 64-57

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - When nothing else was working offensively for Georgia, 6-foot-10 forward Trey Thompkins was. With Georgia and Eastern Kentucky tied at 47 with 7:17 to go, Thompkins scored three straight baskets and 10 of his team's next 12 points to rally the Bulldogs to a 64-57 win over Eastern Kentucky on Friday.

"They know when they need a bucket they can come to me when they need to," Thompkins said after scoring a season-high 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting. "I don't know if that was the plan, but once you give me the ball, it is my job to put it in the bucket."

Coach Mark Fox said it was part of the design to get the ball in to Thompkins, who scored eight points from the right low block in the decisive four-minute spurt.

"I am starting to feel I am getting my rhythm," said Thompkins, who missed the first three games with a sprained ankle. "My teammates are looking for me."

Travis Leslie added 14 for Georgia (11-2), which went undefeated in December for the third time in school history.

Freshman Jeff Johnson came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points to lead Eastern Kentucky (5-8), losers of four straight. Fox did not find much to like about the game.

"If I don't coach better and we don't play better, we will have a long 2011," Fox said. "I was not impressed with how we played and how we coached." Fox said it was an overall poor performance.

 "Loose balls, we didn't get them," he said. "We didn't rebound it great. We did not execute offensively very well. I don't think we played hard enough. We made some poor decisions defensively that set us up for failure."

"We know we are a much better team and are not playing up to par," said guard Gerald Robinson, who scored nine points and had a game-high five assists. "We are happy to go into the conference with an 11-2 record."

Eastern Kentucky coach Jeff Neubauer had a different take, naturally.

"We told the players that we were proud of them," said Neubauer. "Their effort today was unbelievable. We had a goal of nine turnovers, and we had 10. We also wanted to play good transition defense, and I thought that we did a good job of that. This has to be a springboard."

Johnson scored 15 of his points in the first half when the Colonels closed to within one at halftime. The Colonels went ahead early in the second half and led as late at 12:37, 43-42 after a jumper by Spencer Perrin.

Sparked by Thompkins, the Bulldogs mounted a 12-3 run to build a 59-50 lead with 2:42 to go.

The eight-game winning streak is Georgia's longest since the 2002-03 team also won eight straight. That team went undefeated in December, though the wins were vacated after NCAA sanctions. The other Bulldogs squad to go unbeaten in December was the 1982-83 team that advanced to the NCAA Final Four.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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