(19-14, 9-9 SEC) Georgia vs. (22-6, 15-1 OVC) Belmont
Game time: Wednesday, March 15th at 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, GA
TV: ESPN3 (Play-by-play: Dave Weekley; Analyst: Stan Lewter)
Video Stream: WatchESPN.com
Radio: Georgia Bulldog Network by IMG (Play-by-play: Scott Howard; Color Commentary: Chuck Dowdle; Producer: Tony Schiavone)
Flagship Station: WSB AM 750
The Georgia men’s basketball team will host the Belmont Bruins tonight at 7:00 p.m. ET for round one of the NIT at Stegeman Coliseum. The Bulldogs also opened up with Belmont in last year’s NIT tournament.
That night, Yante Maten scored a career-high 33 points and Georgia made 10-of-10 free throws in the final 61 seconds to hold off Belmont and secure a 93-84 victory.
There is another familiar storyline from a year ago in play. Last March, the Bulldogs entered the game one win shy of securing a 20-win season. Georgia did so to reach that plateau for a third-straight year, just the second time the Bulldogs have strung together a trio of 20-win efforts.
With a win over Belmont this season, Georgia would notch its first-ever streak of four-consecutive 20-win finishes in 112 seasons of competition on the hardwood.
The second-seeded Bulldogs are 19-14 on the year, including a 9-9 mark in SEC play.
Georgia sports one of the nation’s premier inside-outside scoring combinations in J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten, who rank third and fourth, respectively, among the SEC’s scoring leaders. They also comprise the ninth-best guard-forward scoring duo among teams with two players ranked among the nation’s top-250 scorers.
Frazier sports a team-high average of 18.5 ppg. The 5-10 guard was has been even more productive of late, averaging 27.7 ppg with two 30-point and six 20-point outings over Georgia’s last seven regular-season games.
Maten is averaging 18.2 ppg, a mark slightly deflated by the fact that he played only 95 seconds before suffering a sprained right knee in a Feb. 18 date with Kentucky. Maten was the SEC’s second-leading scorer for much of 2016-17 and has reached double figures in 26 of 29 games played.
Belmont arrives in Athens with a 22-6 record, including a 15-1 mark en route to winning the OVC regular-season title.
Evan Bradds leads a balanced Bruin offense at 20.6 ppg. Five more Belmont players average between 8.0-11.4 ppg, including double-digit tallies by Taylor Barnette (11.4 ppg) and Amanze Egekeze (11.3 ppg).
The Starting Five
• UGA has won all three previous meetings with BU, including a 93-84 victory in the first round of last year’s NIT.
• UGA is appearing in the NIT for the 14th time, with best finishes of third in 1982 and 1998.
• UGA is one win shy of posting four consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time the program’s 112 campaigns. Mark Fox is the first coach ever to lead UGA to three-straight 20-win finishes.
• J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten average 18.5 ppg and 18.2 ppg, respectively, third- and fourth-best in the SEC.
• Derek Ogbeide it has averaged 9.5 rpg over the last 14 games, with eight double-digit efforts in that span. Among league leaders, he is fifth overall (7.7 rpg) & third in SEC play (8.3 rpg).
For the complete game notes for tonight’s basketball game between Georgia and Belmont, CLICK HERE.