Freshman Anthony Edwards leads Georgia to opening night win

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Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Anthony Edwards overcame a slow start to score 24 points in his much-anticipated debut, and Georgia pulled away late to beat Western Carolina 91-72 on Tuesday night in each team's season-opening game.

Edwards had nine rebounds and three steals. Another freshman guard, Sahvir Wheeler, had 19 points.

Mason Faulkner led Western Carolina with 21 points.

Edwards, perhaps Georgia's most celebrated signee since Dominique Wilkins, hit a 3-pointer with 8:50 remaining to give the Bulldogs a 60-58 lead. The guard whose nickname is "Ant Man" added two more 3s in a 20-8 run that stretched the lead to 71-63.

Edwards fouled out with 2:10 remaining.

Carlos Dotson had 17 points and 15 rebounds for Western Carolina before fouling out with 4:25 remaining.

The game was a matchup of teams trying to improve on disappointing 2018-19 seasons. Georgia was 11-21 in coach Tom Crean's first season. Western Carolina was 7-25.

Georgia forwards Rayshaun Hammonds and Rodney Howard collected three first-half fouls. The foul trouble became more severe when another forward, Amanze Ngumezi collected two quick fouls in the second half, giving him four.

Edwards was called for his third foul on a charge following his steal with about 15 minutes remaining. That left Georgia with five players carrying three or more fouls.

A 3-pointer by Faulkner gave the Catamounts a 49-46 lead before Wheeler made four free throws in a 7-0 run that gave Georgia a 53-49 advantage.

The Bulldogs were without senior guard Jordan Harris, who is ineligible until a Dec. 20 home game against SMU.

Crean announced in brief statement released before the game that the cause for Harris' ineligibility "is an internal matter."

Harris was suspended twice in the 2017-18 season by former coach Mark Fox. The second, termed an "indefinite suspension" carried through the end of the season. Harris averaged 7.8 points last season while starting 13 games.