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Key ignites Alabama in victory over Georgia

Key ignites Alabama in victory over Georgia
Published On: Thu, Jan 26
Mar 15, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Georgia State Panthers head coach Ron Hunter celebrates with his son guard R.J. Hunter and daughter Jasmine Hunter and wife Amy Hunter following a win against the Georgia Southern Eagles in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship game at the Lakefront Arena. Georgia State defeated Georgia Southern 38-36. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman forward Braxton Key scored 26 points and Alabama beat struggling Georgia 80-60 on Wednesday at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga.

Senior guard Corban Collins finished with 15 points, including four 3-pointers for the Crimson Tide (12-7, 5-2 SEC), who bounced back from a 20-point loss to rival Auburn and won for the third time in four games.

Georgia coach Mark Fox was ejected with two minutes left to go in the first half after a heated exchange with an official. The Bulldogs (12-8, 4-4) were whistled for 25 fouls and bickered often with officials, including Fox's tirade that sent him to the locker room early. It didn't spark his team, though.

Alabama closed out the first half with a 13-4 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Collins that sent the Crimson Tide into halftime with a 41-27 lead. Key had 16 points in the first half to lead all scorers.

Collins knocked down two more 3-pointers in the first six minutes of the second half as the Alabama lead ballooned to 20.

The Bulldogs chipped away at the deficit and got within 10 at 62-52 after a jumper by Juwan Parker with six minutes to play. But Alabama made enough free throws down the stretch to answer Georgia's challenge and salted away an SEC road win.

Junior forward Yante Maten led the Bulldogs with 20 points. Senior guard J.J. Frazier, the Bulldogs' second-leading scorer, was limited to four points on 2-for-9 shooting.

Georgia, which lost three of its last four games, was coming off a deflating 63-62 loss at Texas A&M that was marred by a clock error that cost the Bulldogs a final shot.

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