NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Georgia

Jan 13, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Auburn Tigers guard Sharife Cooper (2) goes to the basket against Georgia Bulldogs forward Christian Brown (3) during the second half at Stegeman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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Freshman guard Sharife Cooper continued to make his presence felt for Auburn, as the five-star recruit posted game highs with 28 points and 12 assists to lead the Tigers to a 95-77 victory over host Georgia in a Southeastern Conference game on Wednesday night in Athens, Ga.

Devan Cambridge had 14 points and four rebounds, JT Thor had 11 points and eight rebounds and Jamal Johnson recorded 10 points and five rebounds, as Auburn (7-6, 1-4 SEC) ended a four-game losing streak.

Cambridge and Jaylin Williams each had five blocks, as Auburn finished with 13 blocks, which were the most by a Division I team this season, according to ESPN.

But the story of the game was Cooper's emergence. Cooper, who was ruled eligible by the NCAA earlier this month, scored a game-high 26 points and added nine assists in his debut this past Saturday in a 94-90 loss to visiting Alabama.

Meanwhile, it was more of the same for Georgia (7-4, 0-4 SEC), which has lost all four league games after opening 7-0, its best start since the 1982-83 season. The Bulldogs are 7-33 in regular season SEC play under coach Tom Crean, who arrived prior to the 2018-19 season.

Georgia was led by freshman K.D. Johnson who had 21 points, seven rebounds and five steals in his debut after being declared eligible by the NCAA earlier this week. Sahvir Wheeler added 19 points and five assists, with Toumani Camara contributing 12 points and four rebounds. The Bulldogs made just 17 of 34 attempts from the free-throw line.

The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 7-0 run to pull to within 45-41. But Tigers put the game away by going on a 15-1 run to take a 60-42 lead following Thor's 3-pointer with 14:32 remaining.

Auburn began to take control of the game in the final 7:14 of the first half. Leading 25-23, the Tigers ended the half on a 20-11 run to take a 45-34 lead at intermission.

Cooper recorded eight points and assisted on eight of Auburn's 16 made shots in the first half. Cambridge also scored eight first-half points for Auburn, while Georgia was led in the first half by Johnson and Wheeler, who each scored seven points.

--Field Level Media

This article originally ran on gwinnettprepsports.com.

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