Georgia 76, Oregon State 74

Saturday, December 11th 2004, 3:24 pm
By: News On 6

ATLANTA (AP) _ Levi Stukes scored a career-high 31 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:50 left in overtime that carried Georgia to a 76-74 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.

Freshman Sundiata Gaines just beat the buzzer with a shot at the end of regulation, sending Georgia (3-3) to overtime tied at 65.

Kenny Hooks hit a couple of free throws to give Oregon (4-3) its final lead at 70-68. Stukes responded with a 3 that put the Bulldogs ahead for good.

Stukes did give the Beavers a chance to force another overtime, missing two free throws with 1.6 seconds left. His second attempt didn't even touch the rim, which allowed Oregon State a chance to set up for an inbounds pass from the end line.

J.S. Nash hurled the ball the length of the court over Georgia defender Steve Newman and right into the hands of Nick DeWitz, playing his first game for the Beavers after transferring from Iowa.

DeWitz was in the clear but missed the running one-hander in the lane, walking off the court with a stunned look after the horn sounded. Not a good first impression with his new team.

Stukes, Georgia's only returning starter from last season, carried his team by hitting 10-of-18 from the field, including four 3-pointers, to easily eclipse his previous career best of 25 points. The sophomore also had four steals.

Oregon State went ahead 65-63 when Chris Stephens swished a jumper from just inside the 3-point arc with six seconds remaining in regulation. He wasn't even involved with the play as J.S. Nash drove toward the basket on the opposite side. Stukes made a good defensive play, swatting the ball off Nash's thigh, but it deflected right to Stephens for the open jumper.

Georgia inbounded to Gaines, who drove the length of the court, shook off Jason Fontenet and leaned in near the free-throw line to hit a jumper about a half-second ahead of the buzzer, forcing overtime.

Marcel Jones led Oregon State with 14 points.

Georgia jumped to a quick 7-2 lead, but the Beavers scored the next 15 points to seemingly take control. Oregon State led by as many as 13 before settling for a 36-26 lead at the half.

The Bulldogs rallied in the second half, going ahead for the first time since the opening minutes when Newman converted a three-point play with 12:26 remaining to make it 49-48.

The game was tight the rest of the way, the margin never more than four points.

It was hardly a masterpiece by either team. Oregon State committed 20 turnovers and leading scorer Sasa Cuic was plagued by foul trouble, managing just 5 points in 19 minutes. Georgia made only 18-of-31 (58 percent) from the foul line.

Gaines added 17 points and Newman 16 for the Bulldogs, who got a total of 12 points from their remaining players.