After a back-and-forth first half, the Bulldogs held a 41-34 lead with 14:25 to play when Jordan McRae hit a 3-pointer for Tennessee. Golden, a product of McEachern High School, sank a 3 on the next possession, and Kenny Hall followed with a pair of free throws to put the Volunteers ahead for good.
The Vols (11-12, 3-5 Southeastern Conference) used a 10-2 run to pad their lead. The Bulldogs pulled within six points in the final minute, but Tennessee went 10 for 11 from the free-throw line during the stretch.
Jeronne Maymon scored 15 points for the Vols, despite constant double-team coverage by Georgia. McRae added 14 points, and Skylar McBee, who started in place of Golden, added 10.
Georgia coach Mark Fox was assessed a technical foul while arguing a call with 19 seconds left and was ejected after continuing to rant.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Bulldogs (10-12, 1-7) with 16 points. Dustin Ware, formerly of North Cobb Christian, finished with 15 and Gerald Robinson scored 13 points.
The first few minutes of the game were all about Georgia. The Bulldogs hit four of their first five shots from 3-point range as they built a 16-11 lead.
Another 3-pointer by Ware gave Georgia a 27-19 lead with 5:10 to play in the first half. Ware hit all three of his shots from 3-point range to lead the Bulldogs with 13 points at halftime, but he scored just one basket in the second half.
Georgia cooled off, and Tennessee responded. The Vols closed out the half on an 11-1 run to take a 30-28 lead into halftime.
Golden, who had started 21 games this season, hit back-to-back jumpers to put the Vols ahead 29-27 with 2:06 left in the first half, Tennessee’s first lead of the game.
The Bulldogs started the second half hot again and used a 9-2 run to take a seven-point lead.
By the end of the game Tennessee had outshot Georgia 45.2 percent to 36.4 percent, even without its usual dominance in the paint. The Vols’ ball-control struggles continued, and the Bulldogs scored 16 points off 10 giveaways.
With the victory, Tennessee avoided being swept by Georgia, which hasn’t happened since the 2001 season. The Bulldogs won the Jan. 18 meeting 57-53 in overtime in Athens but have dropped four straight games since.
The Vols have now won eight of their last nine at Thompson-Boling Arena, the lone loss a 65-62 decision to now-No. 1 Kentucky.