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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reed Arena (12,989) -- College Station, Texas. Television: FSN. Home Record: Georgia 7-5, Texas A&M 9-2. Away Record: Georgia 0-4, Texas A&M 2-2. Neutral Record: Georgia 0-2, Texas A&M 1-2. Conference Record: Georgia 1-4, Texas A&M 2-3. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Bulldogs and the Texas A&M Aggies will each try to bounce back from losses earlier this week when the two squads face off at Reed Arena in College Station on Saturday afternoon.
Georgia was rolling just a few weeks back, having won four consecutive games, but the start of SEC play has been anything but kind to the team as it has dropped four of five league matchups. The Bulldogs most recently lost a home tilt against nationally-ranked Florida, 64-47, to fall to 7-11 on the season.
After getting its inaugural campaign in the SEC off on the right foot with wins over Arkansas (69-51) and Kentucky (83-71) earlier this month, Texas A&M (12-6) has since fallen below .500 in league play thanks to three straight losses. The Aggies wrapped up a two-game road swing on Wednesday night with a 58-54 defeat at the hands of LSU.
These newly-formed conference foes have never met previously in men's basketball.
Georgia fought hard against Florida in the first half, even taking a three- point advantage at intermission, but it quickly lost control after the break and was ultimately saddled with the 17-point loss. The Bulldogs were far from efficient in the setback, as they actually had more turnovers (17) than field goals (16). Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was the lone player in double figures, shooting 5-of-11 from the field (3-of-5 from 3-point range) on his way to 16 points. Caldwell-Pope has been the primary focus of the UGA offensive attack, as he shoots 42.2 percent from the field and 78.5 percent from the free-throw line for an average of 17.1 ppg (third in the SEC). The sophomore guard is also the team's leading rebounder (6.2 rpg), and he ranks third in the league in steals (2.4 spg). The Bulldogs don't have another double-digit scorer, as Nemanja Djurisic the next-best option with 8.1 ppg. Georgia is the SEC's lowest-scoring team (59.4 ppg), which all but spoils a solid defensive effort (62.9 ppg).
Texas A&M actually outshot LSU from the field in its last game, 45.5 percent to 38.1 percent, but it found itself on the wrong end of a four-point decision because it didn't take very good care of the basketball, committing an uncharacteristic 24 turnovers. Fabyon Harris did his best to lift his team to victory by tallying 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, but no other A&M player reached double figures. On the season, the Aggies have been able to win twice as many games as they have lost by laying claim to the SEC's third- ranked scoring defense (59.3 ppg), but their modest scoring attack (63.9 ppg) has barely been able to keep up. Elston Turner ranks just inside the league's top-10 in scoring (15.5 ppg) thanks in large part to his prowess from beyond the arc (.442) and the foul line (.814). Ray Turner is highly-efficient in netting 10.6 ppg on greater than 57 percent field goal accuracy, while also grabbing 6.1 rpg. Harris brings 10.4 ppg to the mix, and he too is an impressive long-range shooter (.451).
Neither team has performed well of late, but Georgia's disappointing play has been pretty well sustained throughout the season, and it will have a difficult time knocking off the Aggies on the road here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 68, Georgia 58
01/26 10:34:59 ET