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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tad Smith Coliseum (9,061) -- Oxford, Mississippi. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: UGA 9-6, Ole Miss 12-1. Away Record: UGA 3-4, Ole Miss 5-4. Neutral Record: UGA 0-2, Ole Miss 1-1. Conference Record: UGA 6-5, Ole Miss 7-4. Series Record: Ole Miss leads, 66-39.
GAME NOTES: In the midst of their roughest stretch of the season, the Ole Miss Rebels try to get back to their winning ways on Saturday night when they return home for an SEC bout with the Georgia Bulldogs.
Georgia took a season-long, five-game win streak into Tuesday's matchup with Alabama, but its run came to an end with a 52-45 home loss. Although the Bulldogs are just 12-12 overall, they have had surprising success in the SEC at 6-5.
Ole Miss began this season better than any previous campaign in its history, and following a Jan. 26 win over Auburn, it was sitting at 17-2 overall and 6-0 in the SEC for the first time ever. Since then however, the Rebels have plummeted in the league standings with losses in four of their last five games, most recently suffering a heart-breaking 69-67 defeat at the hands of Texas A&M on Wednesday night.
Ole Miss has won three of the last four meetings with Georgia, including a 66-63 verdict in last season's matchup, to extend its lead in the all-time series to 66-39.
The Bulldogs haven't had much success at the offensive end of the court this season, as they are tied for last in the SEC in scoring with just 59.0 ppg, and they were once again disappointing in their latest loss to Alabama, shooting under 31 percent from the field in the meager 45-point effort. Despite the lackluster team effort, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was stellar, shooting 8-of-18 from the field for 22 points while also grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. Nemanja Djurisic added 12 points from off the bench in the setback. Georgia played very well on defense, holding the Crimson Tide to just 38.8 percent accuracy from the field, and its effort at that end of the floor has been consistently strong all season, holding foes to a mere 60.4 ppg on 39.1 percent shooting. Caldwell-Pope is the conference's second-leading scorer with 17.7 ppg, and he leads the team in rebounding (6.4 rpg), steals (53), 3- pointers (60) and free-throw percentage (.811), but he has been a one-man wrecking crew, as Djurisic is the next-best scorer with only 7.9 ppg.
The Rebels held a three-point advantage at the half over Texas A&M, but the Aggies quickly erased that deficit after the break, as they opened the second half on 14-8 run and Ole Miss never again held the lead. The Rebels had a solid night shooting the ball (.453), but they went only 5-of-19 from 3-point range. Derrick Millinghaus and Reginald Buckner both scored 13 points the lead the team, with Buckner doing solid work in the paint with 15 rebounds and four blocks. LaDarius White tallied 12 points, Marshall Henderson, the SEC's leading scorer (19.5 ppg), had 10, and Murphy Holloway netted 10 points as well. Despite the team's recent run of futility, it still ranks fifth in the nation in scoring with 79.3 ppg. Henderson ranks fourth with 93 3-pointers, making them at nearly a 36 percent clip. Holloway is one of the SEC's most outstanding forwards with 14.5 ppg on 53.2 percent field goal shooting to go along with 9.5 rpg. Buckner (9.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 2.8 bpg) is also fantastic in the paint, while Jarvis Summers (8.9 ppg) has 91 assists compared to only 34 turnovers.
Something has to give in this battle of offense versus defense, but at home, Ole Miss will likely be able to muster enough points to get back on track.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ole Miss 70, Georgia 62
02/16 10:32:38 ET
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