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Monday / February 20.

Kentucky Emerges Victorious Over Georgia in Brent Musberger’s Final Game

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By GARY B. GRAVES

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) —Brent Musberger’s last game behind the mic was a classic.

Malik Monk made two 3-pointers and scored eight of 37 points in overtime, and Bam Adebayo and Dominique Hawkins added baskets to help No. 8 Kentucky outlast Georgia 90-81 on Tuesday night and end a two-game losing streak.

The Wildcats appeared headed to their third straight loss until Monk’s jumper with 8 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 76 and brought the crowd to its feet. Hawkins’ desperation heave from midcourt bounced off the rim as the horn sounded.

Hawkins’ drive got the Wildcats started in OT before Monk made his first 3 for a five-point lead. His second made it 85-81 and Adebayo followed with a slam off Monk’s lob for a six-point cushion. Isaiah Briscoe (23 points, 11 rebounds) made a free throw and Monk added two more with 43.3 seconds left to seal the win.

Adebayo had 12 points as Kentucky (18-4, 8-1 Southeastern Conference) avoided its longest losing streak since dropping its final four regular season games in 2008-09.

J.J. Frazier had 23 points before fouling out and Yante Maten added 22 for the Bulldogs (13-9, 4-5), who lost for the fourth time in six games.

The game marked the final broadcast for the 27-year ESPN veteran Musberger, who last week announced he would retire after nearly 50 years hosting and describing numerous sports. Musburger’s finale at Rupp Arena just happened to be the same place he broadcast Villanova’s epic 1985 NCAA championship upset of Georgetown.

Musburger had many fun moments in his final assignment. He dropped in on Kentucky coach John Calipari’s radio show Monday night and took in Georgia’s Tuesday morning shootaround, where the Bulldogs presented him with a framed program from their 1989 spring game and wide-brimmed hat.

Kentucky presented Musburger with a framed white jersey with the No. 50 (for years of service) before the game and later brought him out to be the ‘Y’ as the crowd spelled out Kentucky.

BIG PICTURE

Georgia: Recent shooting struggles didn’t stop the Bulldogs from making their first six attempts to take a 12-0 lead before they cooled off to hit just 6 of 19 the rest of the half. They shot 49 percent and didn’t wilt despite trailing most of the second half, but couldn’t stop Kentucky in the extra session.

Kentucky: Despite shooting 29 percent and sputtering in nearly every phase in the first half, the Wildcats managed to tie it at 29 by the break. Offensive rebounds (17) certainly helped as they outscored the Bulldogs 24-3 in second-chance points, while the defense regrouped to force 17 turnovers. Hawkins made up for a questionable 3-pointer late in regulation with a big drive that ignited his teammates.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Kentucky gutted out the win it wanted and just needs to beat No. 19 Florida to remain in the Top 10.

UP NEXT

Georgia: The Bulldogs’ challenging stretch continues with the second of three straight ranked opponents at No. 19 South Carolina on Saturday before returning home to face No. 24 Florida next Tuesday.

Kentucky: Visits No. 24 Florida on Saturday night in search of its sixth straight win over the Gators.

Photo: Alan Cutler

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Zagoria@hotmail.com

Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.