At long last, Georgia basketball has defeated Kentucky.
The Bulldogs defeated the Wildcats 63-62 to snap a 14-game losing streak Wednesday night. P.J. Horne caught an inbound pass with three seconds left and made a shot with defenders on his back to defeat Kentucky at home.
Georgia improved to 9-4 overall and 2-4 in SEC play. Here's what Georgia did right to win the game, along with a little of what it did wrong to keep it close.
Leadership late in the game
A constant knock against Georgia throughout conference play has been its lack of leadership. Time and time again, when faced with adversity, the Bulldogs crumbled. Not Wednesday night.
Kentucky went on a 12-2 run in the middle of the second half to take a 56-49 lead. That stretch was bolstered by a flagrant foul on Tye Fagan and a technical foul on Andrew Garcia. In previous games, a sequence like that might have doomed the Bulldogs.
Instead, Georgia settled down and Kentucky's lead never exceeded six points again following a shot under the basket by Garcia with less than five minutes on the clock.
Kentucky was the team making mistakes at the end of the game. Leading 62-59 with 40 seconds remaining, the Wildcats floated a bad shot, giving the ball to Georgia. Kentucky's defense lost Garcia in transition and Sahvir Wheeler found him under the basket for an easy shot. On the other end, the Wildcats missed the front end of a one-and-one with 23 seconds remaining.
Down 62-61, Georgia had one chance to win the game with three seconds left, inbounding the ball under the basket. Instead of rushing the play, Georgia took two timeouts to make sure the team was on the same page. Horne broke free under the basket, Wheeler found him, and Horne dropped the game-winning shot through the hoop.
Winning the turnover margin
The other big knock against Georgia has been turnovers. That wasn't an issue Wednesday. In fact, Georgia dominated the turnover margin. The Bulldogs gave the ball away just 11 times. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs forced 17 turnovers, 10 of which were steals.
Georgia scored 25 points off those turnovers. Justin Kier intercepted three passes that resulted in layups. Mikal Starks had a huge strip late in the first half that led to an alley-oop for Toumani Camara.
While Georgia won the game on a pair of open looks under the basket, the game was close because the Bulldogs missed numerous close shots. Everyone seemed to have a bad miss near the rim, Wheeler had several. K.D. Johnson missed an uncontested shot in the first half.
Flagrant and technical fouls on consecutive possessions
Ultimately, the two fouls didn't cost Georgia, but they almost did. The Bulldogs led 47-42 when Fagan was called for a flagrant foul. That error sparked a 12-2 run for the Wildcats.
The two points for Georgia in the middle of that run came on an easy basket by Garcia. However, instead of running the floor, Garcia said something to a Kentucky defender after the shot, which prompted the technical foul. Instead of his shot ending the run, the foul prolonged it. When the run ended, Kentucky led 56-49 with 7:13 left in regulation.