With another large crowd at Stegeman, the Bulldogs have played before 35,152 fans in their first four games. That’s the second-most over the first four home games in school history. It’s just shy of the mark of 38,741 when UGA had Dominique Wilkins in the 1981-82 season. The arena held 11,200 that year and two of those games were against Kentucky and Tech.
“The place was jumping,” Crean said.
Georgia leaves for Hawaii and the Maui Invitational on Friday. The Bulldogs play Dayton on Monday (2:30 p.m., ESPN2).
The Yellow Jackets, in their fourth season under Josh Pastner, fall to 2-1. Michael Devoe led the visitors with 34 points, including six in the last 10 seconds. Devoe made a half-court 3-pointer at the final buzzer.
After scoring just two points on two free throws in the first half, Edwards scored in all manner of ways after halftime. Though he struggled with his shot most of the night, finishing 5-of-15 from the floor, he found it when Georgia needed it most.
When Hammonds picked up his fourth foul and had to leave the game with 10:16 remaining, Georgia was clinging to a 56-48 lead. Edwards steopped up and made his first 3 30 seconds later. That ignited what would end in a 10-2 run with Hammonds on the sideline.
“He’s a pro, and that’s what pros do,” Tech’s Pastner said.
Edwards made 7-of-10 fouls shots and collected eight rebounds in 32 minutes of play. Hammonds was 11-of-20 from the floor with two 3’s and finished with nine rebounds. Donnell Gresham Jr. added 13 points for the Bulldogs.
“It’s a big win for us,” said Hammonds, who is 3-0 against Tech. “As a team, I have never lost to them and I don’t want to lose to them. That's the main focus. We know it’s a rivalry game, a hard-fought game, so you have to have the mindset to be ready to battle against a great team.”
After shooting 41.9% in the first half to build a 35-27 lead, the Bulldogs made four of their first five shots to open the second half and shoot ahead by 16 points, 49-33. Tech would get within six twice, at the 11:08 mark and in the final minute.
Georgia missed its first eight shots of the game but used a 13-2 run over the final 5:02 of the first half to forge a 35-27 halftime lead. The Bulldogs did it without a significant contribution from their prized player.
Edwards took only three shots in the first half and missed them all. His two points came on a pair of foul shots at the 8:17 mark. He played just over 14 minutes and had two fouls.
Hammonds was the only Bulldog getting anything done on offense. He scored 19 on 8-of-11 shooting, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range. No other Georgia player made more than one shot.
Tech was equally one-dimensional in the first half. The Jackets got 14 points from Devoe on 5-of-8 shooting. Where they were especially deficient was the foul line, where they missed on seven of 10 tries. That contributed to a losing the eight-point lead they had at the 9:20 mark, when the game devolved into a bunch of free throws.