Jackson, averaging just 2.9 points, made four three-pointers in the first half, one off his career high. His fourth 3-pointer with 10:44 to go in the first half boosted the Bulldogs to a 27-10 lead.
Georgia still had a 17-point lead as late as 6:37 in the first half when Hightower’s 3 made it 37-20. But Oakland whittled it down to 45-34 at the break.
In the second half, the Grizzlies got as close as three when Norris hit a 3-pointer with 14:05 remaining to make it 51-48. Hightower answered with a 3 and two free throws to push the lead back to 56-48 with 13:08 remaining.
Hill-Mais then sparked a 10-2 run, hitting three free throws and two layups to make it 66-64 Georgia, prompting a Bulldog timeout with 4:56 to go.
Georgia capitalized on five straight possessions: a Claxton dunk and two free throws, an acrobatic runner by Hightower, another Claxton free throw, and a trey by Hightower to build a 76-64 lead with just 2:00 minutes to play.
Oakland: The Grizzlies were No. 20 in the country in turnovers per game at 10.9, but fell into Georgia’s frenetic pace and committed 14, just one less than the Bulldogs, who were 345th in the country with 17.1 per game.
Georgia: The Bulldogs blew a double-digit lead against No. 20 Arizona State on Saturday, and were in danger of repeating the tragedy against Oakland, a much lesser opponent. The Bulldogs twice led by 17 points in the first half, but Oakland managed to get as close as 66-64 before Claxton and Hightower sparked the closing surge.
Oakland returns to Michigan on Friday but plays at No. 10 Michigan State.
Georgia visits Georgia Tech on Saturday. The Bulldogs have won the last three games against Tech after losing four straight before that.
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