Dawgs beat Carolina - Mercer Hurt
Mike Mercer
Mike Mercer

Posted Feb 11, 2007


COLUMBIA - Senior guard Levi Stukes became Georgia's all-time leader in 3-pointers as Georgia snapped a three-game losing streak, rolling past South Carolina 73-54 Saturday night.

The Bulldogs (14-9, 6-5 SEC) swept the season series with the Gamecocks (12-11, 2-8) for the second straight year, but the victory came at a cost even as they helped their NCAA hopes with a second SEC road win.

Sophomore Mike Mercer, who leads Georgia in scoring at 13.7 points per game, likely saw his season come to an end when he injured his right knee with 9:45 left in the second half. The knee gave way as he tried to stop. It was put in an inflatable cast and Mercer was wheeled off the floor to a standing ovation.

"His knee did come out of socket," Georgia head coach Dennis Felton said. "They were able to slip it back in socket probably within about 90 seconds. But there's significant ligament damage, and he's likely out for the year."

Georgia shot 47.5 percent, including 9-of-17 3-pointers while outrebounding the Gamecocks 47-32. Billy Humphrey led Georgia with 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists and a career-high seven steals while Stukes added 13 points.

South Carolina, which hit just 33.3 percent, was led by Tre Kelley with 21 points and seven assists.

Stukes became Georgia's career 3-point leader when he hit from long range with 2:51 left in the first half, giving him 232 to move ahead of D.A. Layne. Stukes' 3-pointer was part of a 15-5 run in the final 4:09 to take a 41-26 halftime lead.

The Bulldogs hit three 3-pointers in the closing surge while the Gamecocks made just 2-of-5 field goals and had three turnovers. With Kelley on the bench for a rest, Georgia scored 11 straight points to start the run.

On his return, Kelley immediately hit a bucket to finish the half with five field goals for 11 points along with five assists, meaning he had a hand in all but one of the Gamecocks' 11 first-half buckets.

The Bulldogs continued their surge in the second half, outscoring South Carolina 9-2 in the first 3:19 to stretch their lead to 50-28 on a 3-pointer and two foul shots by Stukes. The Gamecocks never got closer than 15 after that in losing their fourth game in a row.


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