GAME NOTES: The Arkansas Razorbacks will try to continue their incredible run
at Bud Walton Arena this season, as they host the Georgia Bulldogs in an SEC
affair on Thursday night.
Georgia has slipped up in two straight games, falling at home to Alabama on
Feb. 12 (52-46) and at Ole Miss last Saturday (84-74 in OT) to halt what had
been a season-long, five-game win streak. With their recent slide, the
Bulldogs have dipped below .500 overall (12-13) and to an even 6-6 in the SEC.
Arkansas captured yet another outstanding home win last Saturday afternoon
with a come-from-behind 73-71 victory over Missouri, its fourth win in the
past five games to improve to 16-9overall and 7-5 in conference. The
Razorbacks have one of the best home court advantages in the nation, going
15-1 in Fayetteville, which includes an 80-69 win over then-No. 2 Florida on
With regard to the all-time series, Arkansas holds a 16-13 advantage over
Georgia, which includes a 6-3 record in Fayetteville.
Georgia had an eight-point lead over Ole Miss on the road over the weekend
before allowing the Rebels to come back to tie the game at the end of
regulation, and eventually claim the 10-point victory in the extra session. It
was a stellar shooting night for the Bulldogs (.483), but they committed 18
turnovers and were plagued by foul trouble, getting outscored at the free-
throw line, 30-13. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope finished with 19 points and 12
rebounds, while Kenny Gaines (13 points) and Donte Williams (10 points, six
rebounds, two blocks) were also impressive.
The Bulldogs have found some success this season thanks to their stout
defense, which allows just 61.3 ppg on 39.1 percent field goal efficiency, but
they often shoot themselves in the foot with one of the most futile offenses
in the SEC (59.6 ppg). The team's catalyst is undoubtedly Caldwell-Pope, who
is among the league leaders in both scoring (17.7 ppg) and steals (2.2 spg),
while also grabbing a team-best 6.6 rpg. Unfortunately for Georgia, it doesn't
get much production elsewhere, with Nemanja Djurisic the next best scoring
option at 7.8 ppg.
Arkansas trailed Missouri late, but BJ Young came up huge in the clutch,
converting a pair of traditional 3-point plays in the final minute to lift his
team to the thrilling two-point victory. Young poured in 18 points in the
contest, while also adding five assists and five rebounds. Marshawn Powell led
the team with 24 points in a performance that helped him earn SEC Player of
the Week honors, and Coty Clarke was also a crucial component to the triumph
with 13 points, seven boards and a pair of steals.
On the season, the Razorbacks boast one of the top offenses in the SEC,
netting 44.8 percent of their field goal attempts for 76.0 ppg, and while
their scoring defense is rather suspect (68.7 ppg), they are aided by one of
the top turnover margins in the nation, forcing 6.6 miscues per game more than
they commit. Young is a 46.5 percent field goal shooter from the backcourt,
pouring in 16.5 ppg while dishing out 94 assists compared to only 47
turnovers. Powell (15.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) rounds out a potent scoring duo for the
Hogs, while seven others average between 4.0 and 6.8 ppg.
Georgia has surprised some people with its solid play in the SEC this season,
and it has the defensive approach to slow down Arkansas, but the Razorbacks
have been outstanding on their home floor and truth be told, they shouldn't
have much of an issue dismissing the Bulldogs in this one.