Maten takes charge, Georgia beats South Carolina-Upstate

There will be no madness this March in South Carolina.

Yante Maten had 22 points and 14 rebounds, William "Turtle" Jackson and Rayshaun Hammonds each scored 13 points and Georgia held off South Carolina-Upstate 74-65 on Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs (2-0) trailed by five points with 6:40 remaining, but less than 2 minutes later Hammonds hit a 3-pointer and a layup to give Georgia the lead for good.

Mike Cunningham and Malik Moore each scored 16 points for South Carolina-Upstate (1-2). The Spartans, of the Atlantic Sun Conference, missed seven of their last eight shots.

Maten, the Southeastern Conference's active career leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots, hit all nine of his free throws and pulled down four offensive boards. South Carolina-Upstate had nobody able to contain the 6-foot-8, 243-pound Maten, who scored from all over the floor and had 17 points in the last 20 minutes.


South Carolina-Upstate: First-year coach Kyle Perry achieved two early goals against top competition. The Spartans lost by 15 but played well in the opener at No. 15 Minnesota. The same held true against the Bulldogs. With Georgia focused mostly on keeping them from hitting too many early 3s, the Spartans had early success in driving the lane. They were down by 11 in the first 4 minutes, but Deion Jones' dunk cut the lead to one with 6:40 to go in the first half. As the second half wore on, the lane was clogged up and South Carolina-Upstate got forced out of the paint against a bigger, faster team, but the experience should help the Spartans grow.

Georgia: Hammonds wasn't much easier to defend than Maten. At 6-8, 227, he has the length and quickness that will help him adjust to the rigor of the Southeastern Conference when Georgia opens league play Dec. 31 at Kentucky. Hammonds, who scored 17 in the opener against Bryant, was the first freshman to start a Bulldogs opener since Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in 2012.


South Carolina-Upstate: Hosts Charleston Southern on Saturday.

Georgia: Hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Sunday.

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