Men’s basketball: Gaels beat Falcons 77-71 in Georgia

Gaels guard Anthony Johnson scored 16 points, including seven 3-pointers, to lead Georgia to a 77-70 win over Atlanta on Monday night.

Johnson finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

He was 4 of 6 from the free throw line and grabbed six rebounds.

“I don’t have any regrets,” Johnson said.

“It was just about the team, winning the ball game, getting to the free throws and then scoring.

The Gaels (10-5, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) opened the second half with a 20-5 run to take a 36-23 lead on Johnson’s 3-pointer with 4:33 left. “

We got some guys who were down tonight that were out there with a chip on their shoulder and I’m just glad we had guys who could get back in the game.” 

The Gaels (10-5, 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) opened the second half with a 20-5 run to take a 36-23 lead on Johnson’s 3-pointer with 4:33 left.

The Gaels had a chance to take the lead on a pair of free throws by Smith and Johnson with 1:04 left in the first half.

Smith missed the free-throw attempt and Atlanta responded with a jumper from the left wing.

Smith and Smith had a one-handed dunk in the lane, but Johnson got the rebound.

Johnson scored nine of his 11 points in the second quarter and Atlanta (11-5) lost its fourth straight. 

Georgia had the chance to extend its lead on its next possession.

Smith dunked on a pass from Smith in the paint for an 11-6 lead. 

The Eagles then got a chance for a double-digit lead in the third quarter.

Johnson was fouled by Smith after making a jumper to the left corner, and Johnson missed a 3-point attempt. 

Smith was fouling Smith for a foul on the other end of the floor.

Smith came up with the rebound and Johnson put it back up for a dunk. 

Gaels guard Shabazz Napier had a dunk on a reverse layup with 2:38 left. 

A pair of misses by Smith in transition gave the Eagles a 17-10 lead with 2 minutes left.

Georgia scored the next eight points to cut Georgia’s lead to 10-9.

Atlanta went on a 17+2 run to go up 48-37 on a layup by Napier with 2 seconds left.

Napier missed a shot on a drive to the hoop, and the Eagles made their next two free throws. 

With the ball at the Georgia basket, Johnson drove and made a pair in the corner.

The rebound fell to Smith and the Atlanta guard made a quick pass to Johnson.

Johnson hit both 3-points and the Gaels pulled within 62-61. 

“We didn’t play well,” Johnson told the media after the game.

“That’s not the case at all.

We’ve been talking about that.

We’re trying to get back to playing like the team that we are.” 

Georgia has won seven straight and is now 14-0 in games decided by 15 points or fewer. 

Johnson has averaged 16.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the series.