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GEORGIA NOTEBOOK: Second-half surge sends Bulldogs past Vols

Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Fox reacts to a play in the first half of Saturday's game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.

Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Fox reacts to a play in the first half of Saturday's game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.

UGA football opens spring practice

ATHENS — The Georgia football team opened its 2013 spring camp with a two-hour practice on a frigid, and at sometimes snowy, Saturday morning at the Woodruff Practice Fields. The team will practice 14 more times this spring, including the annual G-Day game April 6 at 1 p.m.

“Overall, the tempo was great,” head coach Mark Richt. said “The attitude was good. Everyone was coaching hard, everybody was playing hard.”

Saturday marked the first college practice for 13 early enrollees.

“They all got a little piece of the day,” Richt added. “Our goal is not to have any scout team type work in the spring. We want everyone to get a chance to get some reps.

“(The early enrollees) are gong to start the spring out on the field, and there’s pressure when they step out on the practice field for the first time. They think about being a Georgia Bulldog for a year and a half and now its finally here. The more you do, the better you’re going to get.”

Richt was pleased with the energy, and credited the weather.

“We actually got a little snow, so that was interesting for spring ball,” Richt said. “We had a really good day. It was very high energy. My guess is that it had to do with staying warm — I don’t know if they would have been hustling if it had been warmer. But they were really hustling. We skipped all the breaks and just kept going. Nobody wanted to stand still.”

Georgia will hit the practice fields again on Tuesday.

ATHENS -- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope logged 25 points and nine rebounds as the host Bulldogs used a second-half spurt to hold off the Volunteers, 78-68.

Charles Mann added 18 points and eight assists off the bench for Georgia (14-15, 8-8 SEC). The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from 3-point range and 84.6 percent from the foul line.

Jordan McRae led Tennessee (17-11, 9-7) with a career-high 35 points, shooting 10 of 15 from the field, 8 of 11 from downtown and making all seven of his free throws. Kenny Hall scored 10 points off the bench and Jarnell Stokes grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for the Volunteers, who had their six-game conference winning streak snapped.

After Tennessee scored the first seven points of the game, Georgia tallied 10 straight behind deep balls from Caldwell-Pope and Sherrard Brantley to open a 25-14 lead with 3:04 left in the first half. A Josh Richardson jumper prefaced a McRae 3-pointer and three-point play as the Volunteers pulled within 25-22 at the break.

A Skylar McBee 3-pointer and two Hall free throws cut the Tennessee deficit to 55-50 with 4:23 left before Caldwell-Pope made a 3 16 seconds later and Kenny Gaines hit from deep with 2:56 to go to boost the Georgia advantage to 62-50. The Volunteers got no closer than seven from there.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Georgia posted its highest scoring total in a regulation game since Dec. 29. … Tennessee’s winning streak was the second-longest active streak among major conference teams. Georgetown’s nine-game stretch is the longest. … McRae is averaging 29.8 points in his last four games.