Georgia (6-5) at George Washington (11-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 3, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles E. Smith Athletic Center (5,000) -- Washington, D.C. Television: CSN+, SNY, CSS. Home Record: UGA 6-1, GWU 6-0. Away Record: UGA 0-1, GWU 2-1. Neutral Record: UGA 0-3, GWU 3-1. Conference Record: UGA 0-0, GWU 0-0. Series Record: Georgia leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Both the Georgia Bulldogs and the George Washington Colonials will try to bounce back from losses in their most recent games, as the squads tangle in non-conference action on Friday night at the Charles E. Smith Athletic Center.
After going perfect on a five-game homestand, Georgia ventured out on the road last Saturday and fell on the wrong end of an 84-70 final at nationally-ranked Colorado. The Bulldogs have had an up-and-down campaign at 6-5 thanks to their large discrepancies between home (6-1) and away/neutral court (0-4) success.
GWU also halted a lengthy winning streak in its most recent contest, as it fell at Kansas State on New Year's Eve, 72-55, for its first loss in the past seven games. Despite the setback, the Colonials have been outstanding this season at 11-2, which includes a 6-0 ledger at the Smith Center.
The squads met for the first time last season, with Georgia winning at home, 52-41.
Georgia had an impressive field goal shooting performance its last time out (.500) but struggled from the foul line (9-of-18). It could not outlast Colorado in the 14-point loss, as the Buffaloes made 51 percent of their field goal tries and went a perfect 26-of-26 from the charity stripe. Leading the way in the setback was Kenny Gaines and Nemanja Djurisic, who each scored 12 points. Brandon Morris and Charles Mann netted 11 points apiece.
On the season, the Bulldogs have been impressive statistically despite their modest record. They outshoot their opponents from the field, 48.3 percent to 40.3 percent on their way to a +4.0 scoring margin. They also consistently win the rebounding battle (+4.2), but their lackluster free-throw percentage (.659) has cost them on multiple occasions. Mann is the top scorer with 13.2 ppg and also leads the team in assists (31) and steals (15). Gaines (11.8 ppg), Djurisic (11.4 ppg) and Morris (10.3 ppg) are consistent contributors as well.
The Colonials had an uncharacteristically poor all-around performance in their most recent 17-point loss to Kansas State, as they were outshot from the field, 48.3 percent to 34 percent, and made just 3-of-15 3-point attempts. Kethan Savage and Maurice Creek scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, although the duo combined to shoot just 9-of-26 from the field. Isaiah Armwood was just 1-of-7 from the floor but hauled in 10 rebounds, while Joe McDonald (five points) committed eight turnovers paired with just one assist.
Its last game not withstanding, GWU has played very well across the board this season, boasting positive margins in terms of scoring (+9.5), rebounding (+3.5) and turnovers (+2.0) while shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 39.9 percent from beyond the arc. Creek paces the squad with 16.1 ppg, doing a large chunk of his damage from 3-point range (36-of-80). Savage (13.8 ppg) and Kevin Larsen (10.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) both shoot greater than 52 percent from the floor, while Isaiah Armwood is a mainstay in the frontcourt with 11.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 2.6 bpg.
Although the Colonials slipped up the last time out, things are looking up as they return home against a Georgia program that is clearly inferior away from its home gym.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: George Washington 75, Georgia 68
01/03 10:31:29 ET