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Ole Miss (19-13) vs. Georgia (18-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 9:25 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Georgia Dome (71,228) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Ole Miss 12-5, UGA 14-2. Away Record: Ole Miss 4-8, UGA 4-7. Neutral Record: Ole Miss 3-0, UGA 0-3. Conference Record: Ole Miss 9-9, UGA 12-6. Series Record: Georgia leads, 67-41.
GAME NOTES: The third-seeded Georgia Bulldogs will tip off their SEC Tournament stay on Friday night when they take on the sixth-seeded Ole Miss Rebels in the quarterfinal round at the Georgia Dome.
The winner will move on to Saturday's semifinals to play either Kentucky or LSU.
The Bulldogs edged the Rebels in last-second fashion in the only previous meeting this season, 61-60 in Athens on Feb. 15, to extend their lead in the all-time series to 67-41.
Ole Miss (19-13) appeared on its way to a second-round loss to 14th-seeded and archrival Mississippi State on Thursday night trailing by 12 early in the second half. But after shooting just 37.1 percent from the field in the first half, it improved to 56 percent in the second stanza (while MSU shot a woeful 17.4 percent) as it captured the 12-point victory, 78-66. Marshall Henderson and Jarvis Summers both poured in 21 points in the winning effort, with Henderson knocking down seven of his astonishing 19 3-point attempts and Summers handing out six assists. Anthony Perez was also solid with 10 points off the bench.
Although the Rebels shoot less than 42 percent from the field this season, they generate enough volume to score 75.3 ppg, which is enough to successfully outpace their lackluster scoring defense (72.7 ppg). Henderson (19.0 ppg) shoots a mere 35.8 percent from the field but his 127 3-pointers are tops in the SEC. Summers brings 17.0 ppg to the table on 48 percent field goal shooting.
Georgia (18-12) was arguably the conference's most pleasant surprise this season as it earned the No. 3 seed and a crucial double-bye into the quarterfinals by finishing 12-6 in the SEC, its best season since winning the SEC championship in 1990 with a 13-5 league ledger. Since losing three straight a few weeks back, the Bulldogs have righted the ship with wins in eight of 10, most recently earning a stellar road victory at LSU in the regular-season finale last Saturday, 69-61. Their modest offense (69.2 ppg) is just good enough to support a stellar defense (66.4 ppg), and they regularly outrebound their opponents with a +5.0 margin on the boards. Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines are tied for the team lead with 13.4 ppg, but Gaines' field-goal percentage (.453) is much better than Mann's (.391). Nemanja Djurisic (8.9 ppg), Brandon Morris (8.7 ppg) and Marcus Thornton (8.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg) all bring modest contributions to the table.
Ole Miss has plenty of flash and can really do damage if its 3-point game is clicking, but it has displayed too much inconsistency this season, especially on the defensive end of the court, to trust against a rock-solid and well- rested Bulldogs squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia 70, Ole Miss 67
03/14 10:31:17 ET
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