ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Yante Maten scored 21 points, freshman Rayshaun Hammonds added 17 and Georgia rolled to an easy 79-54 win over Bryant on Friday night in the season opener for each team.
Maten had game-high totals of 12 rebounds and four blocks.
Hammonds, celebrating his 19th birthday, became the first freshman to start Georgia's opener since Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, now with the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, in 2011.
Georgia stretched its advantage to double figures less than six minutes into the game and pulled away with a 15-2 run to close the first half.
Adam Grant led Bryant, a Northeast Conference school from Smithfield, Rhode Island, with 24 points. Ryan Layman added 12, all in the second half.
Bryant: The visiting Bulldogs couldn't capitalize on their plan to stay close by relying on 3-point shooting. Bryant consistently passed the ball outside and made only 8 of 31 3s, including 3 of 17 in the first half. ... Layman, a freshman, missed each of his four shots from the field in the first half but made four of nine shots in the second half and had a team-high seven rebounds.
Georgia: The Bulldogs showed improved athleticism and size while giving significant playing time to three freshmen — Hammonds, 6-foot-11 Nicolas Claxton and Teshaun Hightower. A fourth freshman, Isaac Kante, played late in the game. The newcomers were busy even though Georgia returns every starter except guard J.J. Frazier from a 19-win team. Claxton, the son of former Bulldog center Charles Claxton, blocked three shots and had six points. Hightower also scored six points.
Bryant: After opening the season against a Power 5 conference team for the sixth straight year, Bryant returns to its home in Smithfield, Rhode Island to face Navy on Tuesday night.
Georgia: The Bulldogs will continue their stretch of three straight home games to open the season when they face USC Upstate on Tuesday night.
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