DULUTH, Ga. - Levi Stukes scored a season-high 25 points to lead Georgia (7-1) passed the No. 16 Gonzaga Bulldogs (9-3) 96-83 Saturday evening at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The win marks the first time Georgia has defeated a ranked opponent since Feb. 14, 2004 when it beat No. 8 Kentucky.
"Tonight was a terrific win," said head coach Dennis Felton. "We went in wanting to take advantage of the situation because we had the opportunity to make a national statement."
Joining Stukes with a season-high scoring effort was Sundiata Gaines who posted 21 points, 15 of which came in the second half.
Stukes scored the game's first points as he buried a three-pointer to give Georgia the early edge at 19:19. The red & black Bulldogs held the lead until 15:53 when Derek Raivio hit a jumper putting Gonzaga up 10-9. This was the first of six lead changes in the opening half.
Gonzaga took a five-point lead, its largest of the half, off a Jeremy Pargo dunk at 8:35. Georgia battled back over the next three minutes going on a 10-4 run while forcing three turnovers to regain the lead, which they would not surrender for the duration of the game. The red & black Bulldogs entered the locker room with a five-point edge up 50-45.
Georgia came out firing on all cylinders in the second half going on an 11-0 run in just over three minutes. The run put Georgia up by 16 points, 61-45, which was the largest lead for either team in the contest. Gonzaga pulled within five points on two occasions but could not get any closer.
"Georgia is a really good team," said Gonzaga head coach Mark Few. "They are an NCAA Tournament team. The other Georgia teams we've played have been good too. This team has no weaknesses."
Georgia capitalized on Gonzaga's 21 turnovers scoring 30 points off those turnovers. In the second half, the red & black Bulldogs dominated on the offensive boards, pulling down 13.