MBB: ‘Cats vs. Dawgs Tomorrow Night at the Stege

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MBB: ‘Cats vs. Dawgs Tomorrow Night at the Stege

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Georgia (10-3, 0-0 SEC) vs. Kentucky (10-3, 1-0 SEC)

Tuesday, January 7 at 9:00 p.m. ET

Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) in Athens, Ga.

Watch: ESPN Karl Ravech, play-by-play; Jay Bilas, analyst; Marty Smith, sideline)

Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta. XM: 381; Internet: 971. (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Tony Schiavone, producer)

The Starting Five

• UGA’s win at No. 9 Memphis was just the second victory in a road non-conference game in program history…and the first since Dec. 28, 1977 at Louisville.

• Nationally, Anthony Edwards is No. 61 in scoring at 18.4 ppg (No. 2 among freshmen) and Sahvir Wheeler is No. 48 in assists at 5.3 apg (No. 5 among freshmen).

• UGA had eight 90-point outputs in Tom Crean’s first 40 games in Georgia. The Bulldogs had eight 90-point outings in the 249 games prior to Crean’s arrival.

• Six of nine SEC games at Stegeman Coliseum are now sellouts – Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and Florida.

• Georgia’s celebrated freshman class – ranked among the top-10 groups nationally by every recruiting service – features five of the nation’s top-100 prospects.

The Opening Tip

Georgia christens its 2020 SEC schedule on Tuesday evening when the Bulldogs host Kentucky in a sold-out, ESPN-televised affair.

While most of the rest of the SEC opened league play last Saturday, the Bulldogs were busy earning a historic road win at No. 9 Memphis. That was: 1) just the second road win over a ranked non-conference foe in 115 seasons of Georgia Basketball; and 2) just the second road win over a ranked foe by an SEC team this seasonSouth Carolina’s upset of No. 9 Virginia on Dec. 22 being the other.

Georgia enters the Kentucky game with a 10-3 record, including a perfect 8-0 mark at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs easily bested Austin Peay in their last home outing, 78-48, on Dec. 30.

Fans have been flocking to Stegeman this season at an average of 9,182 per game. That is on pace to be the second-best effort in school history (trailing only 9,857 in 2002-03). Considering six of the Bulldogs’ nine SEC home dates already are sellouts, Georgia could approach a school-record mark by season’s end.

Freshman Anthony Edwards and junior Rayshaun Hammonds are leading the Bulldogs. Edwards, a preseason All-American and leading candidate for National Freshman of the Year accolades, paces Georgia in scoring at 18.4 ppg, which ranks No. 3 in the SEC. Hammonds is the league’s third-leading rebounder at 9.1 rpg and also ranks No. 15 in scoring at 14.1 ppg. 

It’s Late…So Come Early And Eat

Stegeman Coliseum gates on Tuesday will open at 7:00 p.m., two hours prior to tipoff instead of the traditional 90-minute mark.

That will give the first 2,000 UGA students into the arena plenty of time to eat the free pizza they will be given.

Keeping An Eye On . . . Entering Today’s Game Among UGA’s career Leaders

Tyree Crump is…

• 18 3FGs from No. 10 Jody Patton

• 30 3FGs from No. 9 Bernard Davis

• 39 3FGAs from No. 8 G.G. Smith

Series History

Kentucky owns a 127-26 advantage in the all-time series between the Bulldogs and the Wildcats, including a 43-17 mark in Athens.

UGA and UK also faced off at Stegeman Coliseum last season on Jan. 15. Kentucky broke open a tight contest early in the second half en route to a 69-49 victory before a sell-out crowd.

Derek Ogbeide and Nicolas Claxton scored the Bulldogs’ first five baskets of the night on dunks in the opening 5:46 of the game to supply Georgia with an early 11-6 edge.

Kentucky took the lead for good late in the first half and was up 35-31 at the intermission. The Wildcats scored the first nine points of the second half and never allowed the Bulldogs closer than eight points thereafter.

Nicolas Claxton led Georgia with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while Rayshaun Hammonds chipped in 11 points. 

Scouting The Cats

Kentucky also is 10-3 on the season, and 1-0 in SEC play. The Wildcats, who were ranked No. 17 by the AP and No. 14 by the coaches in last week, defeated Missouri in their league opener last Saturday.

The Georgia contest will be Kentucky’s first true road game of the 2019-20 season. The Wildcats’ outings away from Lexington to date were neutral site contests against Michigan State in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden and two games in Las Vegas versus Utah in the Neon Hoops Classic and Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic.

Kentucky’s win count includes victories over No. 1 Michigan State in the season opener and No. 3 Louisville.

Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards

Last Time Out…

Rayshuan Hammond’s double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds led Georgia in a 65-62 win at No. 9 Memphis last Saturday. 

The victory was the Bulldogs’ first road win over a top-10 team since defeating No. 10 Kentucky on Jan. 17, 2004 and the first road win over a ranked, non-conference foe since topping No. 7 Louisville on Dec. 28, 1977.

The back-and-forth contest featured no less than 10 ties and 20 lead changes. 

After a 37-37 tie at the intermission, Memphis opened up a 47-39 advantage with 15:44 remaining. The Bulldogs rallied, with 3-pointers from Anthony Edwards and Donnell Gresham Jr. helping cut the deficit to one. Sahvir Wheeler put Georgia up, 48-47, on a layup at the 13:32 mark.

The Bulldogs took the lead for good on a 3-pointer from Hammonds with 4:05 left that made it 62-61. 

Significance of the Memphis Win

Georgia’s victory at No. 9 Memphis was a milestone on several fronts. It represented the Bulldogs’ first:

• win over a top-10 foe since defeating No. 10 Kentucky, 77-70, on Jan. 8, 2011.

• road win over a top-10 opponent since beating No. 5 Kentucky, 65-57, at Rupp Arena on Jan. 17, 2004.

• road win over a ranked, non-conference foe since topping No. 7 Louisville, 73-70 in overtime, on Dec. 29, 1977.

In fact, the Memphis victory was only Georgia’s second road win over a ranked, non-conference foe in the 2,714 all-time games the Bulldogs have played over 115 seasons. UGA is now 2-20 when playing in a ranked team’s home venue.

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