ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – Yante Maten and J.J. Frazier combined for 55 points and Georgia beat Furman 84-78 on Thursday.
Frazier scored 28 points – 15 in the second half – and Maten added 27 as Georgia improved to 2-1 and dropped Furman to 1-2.
The Bulldogs used their height advantage to outrebound Furman 30-23 and led for some 38 minutes of the game.
Trailing 36-31 at halftime, Furman rallied with a 14-3 run early in the second half and led 48-47, and then briefly led again at the 8:07 mark after a made free throw by Kris Acox.
From that point, Georgia outscored the Paladins 29-22 to earn the victory.
Juwan Parker and Mike Edwards scored eight points each and the Bulldogs shot 53 percent (28 of 53) from the field and 28 percent from beyond the arc, led by Frazier, who was 4 of 9 on 3-point attempts.
There’s been some concern at Georgia about who other than Frazier and Maten will provide points, but Bulldogs coach Mark Fox was pleased with those who added to the score.
“We had a lot of guys chip in – our two big guns (Maten and Frazier) showed up like they should – but we had a lot of other guys chip in, which was good to see,” Fox said.
Parker, who was 3 of 8 from the field and grabbed five rebounds, said Fox’s shuffling of the rotations means anyone could help Frazier and Maten with point production.
“You have to be ready for the moment of truth, especially early in the season,” said Parker, who hit a bank shot and a baseline jumper around the four-minute mark to put Georgia up 66-59. “That’s when a bunch of different guys are going to be stepping up in different moments and different games, so you just have to keep your confidence because any night could be your night.”
Acox scored 17 points for Furman and Daniel Fowler added 16 before leaving the game late with an injury. Devin Sibley, the Paladins’ leading point producer, added 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting.
Furman, which had five players score in double-figures in its 84-74 victory over UAB on Monday, was not as potent on offense or defense against Georgia.
“You’ve got to give Georgia credit,” coach Niko Medved said. “I didn’t think we were as connected defensively as we needed to be early. Frazier is a great player, I know that, but I thought that when you let a player like that get a rhythm early in the game. Once he got going, those guys were difficult to defend.”
Georgia: Georgia improves to 2-1 after a season-opening loss to Clemson and two victories on its home floor.
Furman: The Paladins shot 50 percent from the field, 48 percent from beyond the arc and had four players score in double figures, but they couldn’t withstand Georgia’s run at the end.
Georgia: After two games at home, Georgia takes its first significant road trip of the season, traveling to Kansas City’s Sprint Center for the final rounds of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Bulldogs will open against George Washington – the 2016 NIT champions – on Monday and will play either No. 7 Kansas or UAB on Tuesday.
Furman: The Paladins will play their first home game when they host Trinity Baptist at 4 p.m. on Saturday, the first of a three-game homestand that will also see Furman face UNC-Asheville (7 p.m. Tuesday), and Hiawassee (7 p.m., Nov. 25).
When Furman took the lead at the 7:13 point in the second half, Georgia’s Derek Ogbeide got a big putback to enable the Bulldogs to retake the lead and a slam by Mike Edwards at 6:54 put his team up 59-58; Georgia outscored Furman 25-20 the rest of the way.
Yante Maten’s 27 points marked the 13th time in his career that he’s scored at least 20 points in a game. He’s scored in double figures 38 times at Georgia.
“I thought as a team we made a step forward and it was another step in the right direction. There were some plays we that needed to be made that we didn’t make towards the end of the game and (coach Mark Fox) will correct that in film. Other than the end of the game, I thought we managed the game very well.” Georgia’s Yante Maten.
On Friday, Georgia legends Hugh Durham and Dominique Wilkins will be inducted as part of the Class of 2016 for the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Wilkins has already been inducted in the Naismith Hall of Fame.
Also in the Class of 2016 are Mark Aguirre (DePaul), Bob Boozer (Kansas State), Lionel Simmons (LaSalle), Jamaal Wilkes (UCLA), Doug Collins (Illinois State) and Mike Montgomery, who coached at Montana, Stanford and California.
Georgia now has a 23-4 overall record against Furman (in a series that dates back to 1920) and the Bulldogs are 14-1 when playing the Paladins in Athens.
(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)