The Georgia Bulldog basketball looks to snap a two-game conference losing streak tonight in Knoxville. The Dogs take on the fourth ranked Tennessee Volunteers.
From Mike Mobley, UGA Sports Communications…
The Starting Five
• UGA head coach Mike White is the older brother of Danny White, UT’s director of athletics.
• With 13 wins, UGA has already more than doubled its victory total (6) for the entire 2021-22 season.
• UGA entered the week No. 4 nationally in bench minutes, with subs securing 45.6 percent of the Dogs’ total PT.
• UGA’s bench has outscored its opponents’ reserves 457-289, an average advantave of 8.9 points per game.
• UGA’s assist-to-TO ratio is up by +.24 since Thanksgiving, the best improvement by an SEC team during that span.
The Opening Tip
The Georgia Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday evening when they venture to Knoxville to face the No. 4-ranked Tennessee Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Georgia enters the contest at 13-6 overall and 3-3 in the SEC. The Bulldogs have already more than doubled the 12 wins the compiled during the entire 2021-22 season.
Much of Georgia’s success can be attributed its defense. A year after ranking No. 338 nationally in both scoring defense (78.5 ppg) and field goal defense (.473) and No. 260 in 3-point field goal defense (.439), the Bulldogs are No. 83 in scoring defense (66.1 ppg), No. 78 in opponent FG percentage (.441) and No. 14 in opponent 3-point percentage (.288) this season.
Georgia is looking to bounce back after a couple of difficult setbacks. Last Tuesday, the Bulldogs led by 11 points in the first half and by eight at the intermission at Rupp Arena before falling to Kentucky. Georgia’s perfect 10-0 record at Stegeman Coliseum this season was snapped with an 85-82 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Keeping An Eye On: Entering Today’s Game . . .
Jailyn Ingram is...
• 23 points from 1,500 for his career
Series History With Tennessee
Tennessee enters Wednesday’s matchup with a 98-61 lead in the all-time series between the Bulldogs and Vols, including a 60-15 mark in Knoxville.
On March 1 last season in Athens, Aaron Cook’s team-high 17 points led three Bulldogs in double figures in a 75-68 setback to No. 13 Tennessee at Stegeman Coliseum.
Kario Oquendo added 16 points, including SportsCenter’s No. 3 play of the day on a first-half dunk, and Braelen Bridges added 12, this team-high 23rd double-digit output of the season.
Following a nip-and-tuck first half featuring 11 lead changes and six ties, including a 35-35 score at intermission, the Volunteers used an 11-0 run to build a 54-44 lead at the 14:02 mark.
The Bulldogs used their own 11-0 surge to close the gap to 64-60 with 6:05 left, but Tennessee withstood the rally to earn its first win in Athens since 2011.
In Georgia’s last trip to Knoxville on Feb. 10, 2021, No. 16/15 Tennessee snapped Georgia’s three-game winning streak with an 89-81 win.
That contest featured two dramatically different halves.
Tennessee built a 44-26 lead at the intermission, which was then the Bulldogs’ lowest offensive output in an opening 20 minutes all season.
Georgia responded by scoring a season-most 55 second-half points.
The Vols’ lead bulged to 23 points at 65-42 early in the second stanza before Georgia rallied. The Bulldogs pulled within six with 63 seconds remaining but could not get closer.
The matchup between Georgia and Tennessee wasn’t announced until 81-and-a-half hours prior to tipoff. UGA and UT were slated to meet in the regular season’s regularly scheduled finale on Wednesday, March 3. The contest was moved up after the Bulldogs’ game at Texas A&M and the Volunteers’ matchup with Florida were postponed due to Covid-19 issues for the Aggies and Gators.
Scouting The Volunteers
Tennessee is 16-3 overall and 6-1 in the SEC on the season, leading the Volunteers to be ranked No. 4 in both the AP and USA Today polls this week.
Tennessee’s last two wins have come with regular starters missing action. Last Tuesday at Mississippi State, guards Tyreke Key and Santiago Vescovi did not play due to an illness and injury, respectively. Last Saturday at LSU, Uroš Plavšić registered a DNP due to an illness.
Vescovi leads a quintet of Vols scoring at a double-digit pace for Tennessee at 12.5 ppg, followed by Zakai Zeigler at 10.6 ppg, Olivier Nkamhoua at 10.4 ppg, Julian Phillips at 10.3 ppg and Josiah-Jordan James at 10.1 ppg.
Last Time Out
Jabri Abdur-Rahim poured in a career-high 21 points to lead Georgia; however, the Bulldogs suffered their first home loss of the season to Vanderbilt, 85-82, last Saturday at a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum.
The setback snapped Georgia’s 10-game winning streak at home, which matched the sixth-longest overall and fifth-best single-season stretches of home success in program history.
Terry Roberts added 15 points, Kario Oquendo chipped in 13 and Braelen Bridges contributed 10 for the Bulldogs.
A 3-pointer 85 seconds into the game put Vanderbilt up 3-2, and the Commodores never trailed again.
Georgia trimmed an eight-point halftime deficit to a single possession six times in the second stanza. After Vanderbilt matched its largest lead of the day at 77-65 with 4:51 left, the Bulldogs scored 11 straight to close the gap to 77-76 at the 2:13 mark.
Georgia had possession with a chance to tie or take the lead three times in the final 111 seconds but could not complete the comeback attempt.
A Family Affair
First-year Georgia head coach Mike White is the older brother of Danny White, who has been Tennessee’s Director of Athletics since 2021.
Mike and Danny are just two of several members of the White family who have enjoyed extremely succesful careers in college athletics.
Kevin White, Mike and Danny’s dad, was the Athletic Director at Duke from 2008-21 after previous stops at Loras College (1982-87), Maine (1987-91), Tulane (1991-96), Arizona State (1996-2000) and Notre Dame (2000-08).
In addition, their younger brother Brian has been the AD at Florida Atlantic since 2018 and their sister Mariah (Chappell), who swam collegiately at Duke, is Assistant AD for Administration at SMU.
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