GAME NOTES: The red-hot Georgia Bulldogs will try to continue their recent run of success on Tuesday night, as they welcome the Alabama Crimson Tide to Stegeman Coliseum for an SEC showdown.
Alabama is fresh off a 60-57 win over LSU on Saturday night, as it bounced back nicely from a loss at Auburn on Feb. 6 (49-37). The Crimson Tide has performed like one of the better teams in the SEC all season long, logging a 15-8 overall record, which includes a 7-3 mark in conference, but the team is just 3-5 away from Tuscaloosa.
Following a 52-46 home win over Texas A&M on Saturday, Georgia has won five straight games to improve to 6-5 in league play. It marks the first time the Bulldogs have won five games in a row in the SEC since 2001, and at 12-11 overall, they are above .500 for the first time since they were 1-0 after a season-opening win over Jacksonville back on Nov. 9, 2012.
Alabama owns a convincing 91-47 advantage over Georgia in the all-time series, which includes wins in three straight matchups, and 10 of the last 15 overall.
Alabama led LSU by as many 11 points with under 10 minutes to play in their contest on Saturday, and while the Tigers made things interesting down the stretch, the Tide never surrendered that advantage and held on for the three- point win. The club shot just 35.2 percent from the field, including a lowly 2-of-18 from 3-point range, but it held LSU to only 37.5 percent shooting and outscored the Tigers at the foul line, 20-11. Nick Jacobs sparked the victory with 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench, while Trevor Releford added 12 points and Levi Randolph and Rodney Cooper netted 10 points apiece. Alabama isn't the most potent offensive team, averaging less 63 ppg, but they are able to find success behind an outstanding defensive effort, which yields just 57.8 ppg on 40.5 percent field goal efficiency. Releford is the top scorer with 14.9 ppg and he also logs nearly two steals per contest. Trevor Lacey (11.9, 3.2 apg) shoots greater than 40 percent from 3-point range, and Cooper rounds out the unit's double-digit scorers with 10.6 ppg.
Georgia held a nine-point halftime advantage against Texas A&M over the weekend, and although it shot just 4-of-17 from the field after intermission, it was able to make 16-of-18 from the foul line during that stretch to hold on for the win. While the offense struggled, the Bulldogs put together their best defensive effort of the season, holding the Aggies to a meager 12-of-50 from the field (.240). Nemanja Djurisic paced the squad with 13 points off the bench, and while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope went without a field goal, he made all 10 of his free throws for 10 points while adding six rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocks. Caldwell-Pope is one of the league's premier playmakers, ranking second in both scoring (17.5 ppg) and steals (2.3 spg) while adding a team-high 6.3 rpg. The sophomore has been a one-man wrecking crew on the season, as Djurisic is the next-highest scorer with only 7.7 ppg. While Georgia's offense ranks amongst the SEC's worst (59.7 ppg), its scoring defense (60.7 ppg) has propelled it to success in recent weeks.
With two of the league's top defenses going at it, expect points to come at a premium in this one. Georgia has done a great job finding ways to win lately, and at home, it will once again do what it takes to extend its winning streak to six in a row.
Game Date and Time