Charles Mann was off from the get-go and saddled with foul trouble.
Nemanja Djurisic’s funk continued for a third straight game.
With two of Georgia’s top players scuffling, the Bulldogs managed to get to overtime Saturday against Arkansas.
Then Mann came alive in a 66-61 win in Stegeman Coliseum.
He helped fueled a 7-0 run to start the extra session after Kenny Gaines got it started with a wide-open 3.
“I couldn’t get anything going in the first two halves,” Mann said. “I just wanted to keep my head up and try to make something happen.”
Mann, a sophomore guard and Georgia’s leading scorer this season, hit 1 of 2 free throws with 2:51 remaining and, after an Arkansas turnover, drove and scored off the glass over Anthlon Bell and completed a three-point play for a 59-52 lead with 2:22 to go.
“I just wanted to attack,” said Mann, who scored six of his nine points in overtime. “I knew he wasn’t set.”
Leading by four, Georgia broke the press and Djurisic, the junior forward, dunked with 17 seconds left for his first field goal in three games and a 65-59 lead and finished with five points.
“Nemi finally got a field goal,” coach Mark Fox said. “It took until the bitter end, but we finally got him one.”
Georgia (9-7, 3-1 in Southeastern Conference) is off to its best four-game SEC start since 2007 after rebounding from a 22-point drilling at No. 7 Florida Tuesday.
“We’re happy about it,” Fox said. “We’ll let them enjoy it for the night, but there’s many more battles to come.
Next is South Carolina on Wednesday night in Stegeman.
Arkansas (12-5, 1-3 SEC) was No. 62 in the RPI.
“We beat a really good Arkansas team, so we should feel like we accomplished something today,” Fox said.
Well, really good at home. Not so good away from home.
Arkansas is now 3-23 in its last 26 SEC games away from home, with all three of those wins coming at Auburn.
The Bulldogs held the SEC’s highest scoring team to its second-lowest point total of the season and to 31.8 percent shooting. The high-point might have been Donte Williams and Marcus Thornton swatting away back-to-back Razorback shots with under 50 seconds to go.
Georgia won on a day it shot a season-low 31.0 percent from the floor.
“It was a hard-fought slugfest,” Fox said. “That’s a game where both teams are defending and fortunately for us we won the rebounding battle.”
Easily. Georgia outrebounded the Razorbacks 56-34.
“I told the team before the game, ‘All 16 of you need to rebound,’” Fox said. “And I’ve got one of them (redshirting freshman Dusan Languara) in a coat and tie and he was like, ‘I don’t think I can get one.’”
Thornton notched his first double-double as a Bulldog with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Gaines led Georgia with 15 points, including a highlight-worthy one-handed jam over an Arkansas player in the second half.
“Honestly, it got kind of quiet in the gym when I was about to go up and I just heard Marcus say, ‘Dunk him!’” Gaines said.
“I’ll take a portion of the credit,” he said.
Arkansas had three players in double figures, led by forward Coty Clarke’s 13.
The Razorbacks had a chance to win in regulation, but Rashad Madden was long on a 3-pointer with three seconds to play and the Razorbacks headed to their third straight overtime game.
Georgia overcame a 41-34 deficit with 15:56 to play in the second half.
Brandon Morris scored on a layup for a 49-48 lead with 3:19 to go after freshman J.J. Frazier hit a pair of free throws.
The 5-foot-10, 150-pound Frazier grabbed a defensive rebound with 2:50 left in regulation and made one of two free throws.
With Mann in foul trouble, Frazier scored five points and had four rebounds in 17 minutes
Fox said the 5-foot-10 freshman “gave us a big lift” even on a day he was 0 of 6 from the field, 0 of 5 from 3-point range.
So much so that Fox kept Mann on the bench with four fouls for the final 5:13 of regulation because “J.J. was playing. … Obviously in the overtime we went back to Charles with his experience and he had a chance to kind of gather himself and he finished well.”
Notes: Georgia had 24 offensive rebounds, its most since 26 against Vanderbilt on Feb. 9, 1997. … With a three-day weekend for Martin Luther King Day, student attendance appeared to take a hit on a day attendance was announced at 6,662. … Georgia is 2-0 in overtime this season with a win also against Missouri. … The Bulldogs are 9-0 when outrebounding an opponent.