Georgia (7-3) vs. Georgia Southern (8-4)
Monday, December 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Stegeman Coliseum (Tom Hart, play-by-play; Andy Kennedy analyst)
Listen: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta. XM & Internet: 374. (Scott Howard, play-by-play; Chuck Dowdle, analyst; Tony Schiavone, producer)
The Starting Five
• Anthony Edwards leads all freshman in Division-I to date this season in scoring (19.4 ppg is No. 44 nationally) and fourth-best in steals (2.1 spg).
• 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 – Kentucky, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and Florida – are now sellouts.
• The point tallies of Anthony Edwards (24) and Sahvir Wheeler (19) in the season opener were the second- and third-best ever by a freshman in their UGA debut.
• 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 returns to action for the second time in four days when the Bulldogs host Georgia Southern in an intrastate showdown on Monday at Stegeman Coliseum. Following the outings with the Eagles, the Bulldogs will break from competition for a week over the Christmas holidays.
Georgia improved to 7-3 on the season, including a 6-0 mark at Stegeman, with its thrilling 87-85 double-OT victory over SMU last Friday. Freshman Sahvir Wheeler converted on a layup at the end of the first extra period to tie the game and extend the contest and then scored on another layup with 1.9 seconds left in the second OT session to give the Bulldogs the win.
The Bulldogs are averaging 83.5 points per game, which led the SEC and ranked No. 10 nationally through games of Saturday (Dec. 21).
Anthony Edwards, a preseason All-American and leading candidate for National Freshman of the Year accolades, paces Georgia in scoring (19.4 ppg) and steals (2.1 spg), averages that ranked No. 44 and No. 42 nationally, respectively. Edwards is the nation’s top-scoring freshman and also ranks No. 4 among all freshmen in steals.
Keeping An Eye On…Entering Tonight’s Game Among UGA’s career Leaders
Tyree Crump is…
• 21 3FGs from No. 10 Jody Patton
• 4 3FGAs from No. 9 Bernard Davis
• 51 3FGAs from No. 9 G.G. Smith
Georgia sports and 11-4 advantage in its all-time series with Georgia Southern on the hardwood. After the Eagles won four of the first seven matchups between 1935-61, the Bulldogs have secured victories in the last eight dates.
Georgia and Georgia Southern last met on Nov. 21, 2001 in Savannah. Ezra Williams‘ 25 points led a quintet of Bulldogs in double figures as Georgia raced to a 63-34 halftime lead and cruised to a 94-73 win.
Jarvis Hayes added 19, Chris Daniels chipped in 15, Jonas Hayes contributed 14 and Rashad Wright finished with 11.
Daniels‘ layup early in the second half gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the day at 68-34. Southern nearly halved that deficit to pull within 75-57 with 9:23 left but could pull no closer.
Scouting The Eagles
Southern is 8-4 overall and 2-0 in Sun Belt play. The Eagles are playing their third game in a five-game span after defeating Texas State and UT-Arlington last Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
The Eagles’ balanced offense is putting up 79.4 points per game and features a quintet of players with double-digit scoring averages. Ike Smith leads Georgia Southern in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg).
Through Saturday’s games (of Dec. 21), the Eagles ranked third in the country in turnover margin (+6.7), 11th in turnovers forced (19.0 TOpg) and 13th in steals (9.9 spg).
Last Time Out…
Freshman Sahvir Wheeler came up big in both overtime periods last Friday, scoring late layups to propel Georgia to an 87-85 double-OT win over SMU before 10,351 fans at Stegeman Coliseum.
Wheeler tied the game with four seconds left in the first overtime period and split to defenders en route to the game-winner with 1.9 seconds remaining in the second OT.
The contest featured no less than 10 ties and a dozen lead changes. The Bulldogs led 65-60 with 3:26 in regulation before the Mustangs closed out the half on an 8-3 run.
SMU gained a five-point edge in the first overtime, leading 77-72 with 25 second left. A Tyree Crump 3-pointer preceded Wheeler’s drive to knot the score.
The Bulldogs never trailed in the second extra period and gained possession with the score at 85-85 and 20 ticks on the clock. Wheeler dribbled out much of that time before bolting past a screen on the left elbow en route to the layup to seal the win.