ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Charles Mann made two free throws with 2.5 seconds left to rally Georgia to a 65-63 win over Western Carolina on Saturday.
With the score tied 63-all, Georgia ran the clock down for Mann to penetrate. After he made the first free throw, Georgia coach Mark Fox called timeout to instruct Mann to miss the second free throw on purpose, but he still made it. Mann had been 3 of 9 from the line previously.
Kenny Gaines led Georgia (6-4) with 17 points. Mann added 13, and Brandon Morris 11.
The Catamounts scored the first eight points of the second half to go ahead 37-29 and led most of the way from there. Trey Sumler was 4 of 5 from the 3-point line and scored 21 points for Western Carolina (6-8).
Georgia did not lead in the second half until Nemanja Djurisic's 3-pointer made it 61-58 with 1:25 left.
Western Carolina's Tom Tankelewicz shot an air ball on a long 3-pointer to try to win at the buzzer.
The first half was a see-saw 20 minutes with neither team able to build a lead of more than four points. The lead changed five times and the teams were tied nine times, finishing at 29-all when Gaines went coast to coast in the last 4.7 seconds for a buzzer-beating layup.
The Catamounts twice led by 10 points in the second half, the last time at 57-47 with 7:13 to play after a 3-pointer by Brandon Boggs.
But Western Carolina would score only one more field goal the rest of the game.
Danté Williams' breakaway dunk tied it for Georgia at 58-all, setting up Djurisic's 3, his first field goal of the game.
After Sumler's three-point play, Djurisic tucked the basketball under his arm like a halfback and drove for a layup to put Georgia up 63-61 with 50 seconds left.
Tankelewicz hit two free throws for Western Carolina with 20 seconds to play, setting the score at 63-63 before Mann's clinching free throws.
The game was the last of a five-game home stand for Georgia, which plays at No. 20 Colorado on Dec. 28.