George Washington (6-6) at Georgia (5-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, January 4, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stegeman Coliseum (10,523) -- Athens, Georgia. Television: CSS, CSN-MA. Home Record: George Washington 3-3, Georgia 5-3. Away Record: George Washington 2-3, Georgia 0-2. Neutral Record: George Washington 1-0, Georgia 0-2. Conference Record: George Washington 0-0, Georgia 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Georgia Bulldogs try to run their win streak to four straight on Friday night, as they tangle with the George Washington Colonials in non- conference action at Stegeman Coliseum.
Georgia, one of only four teams in the SEC with a record below .500, had won a total of just two games through the first nine outings of the campaign, but seems to have found the secret to winning. Last Saturday, the squad scored a season-high 82 points in their nine-point victory over Florida A&M at home.
As for the Colonials, representatives from the Atlantic 10 Conference, they too have had a bit of a hard time in the early going so far in 2012-13, looming dangerously close to the bottom of the league standings with a record of 6-6. However, GW is coming off an encouraging showing against Sacred Heart last Sunday in a 77-38 decision for its second win in a row.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
It took a little bit of time for the Colonials to get themselves together versus Sacred Heart, but the team eventually built a lead as large as 45 points, thanks to a defense that held the visitors to just 23.7 percent shooting from the floor and forced 19 turnovers on Sunday at the Smith Center. With the outcome of the contest pretty much decided by halftime, GW reeled in the starters and gave the reserves some action, which is why only two players, Dwayne Smith and Lasan Kromah, finished in double figures with 10 points apiece. Then again, this isn't a team that is known for its offensive prowess, seeing as how they are scoring just 66.5 ppg. Isaiah Armwood is the top scorer for the program with 13.3 ppg and is also first on the glass with close to eight and a half per contest. Kromah checks in with another 10.1 ppg, despite his horrible 20.7 percent accuracy from 3-point range which has brought the entire team down to only 29.3 percent from long range.
The Bulldogs scored the first points of the game against Florida A&M and never looked back on Saturday afternoon, leading by as many as 18 points with just over four minutes remaining in the first half. But Georgia shot just 34.6 percent from the floor, including 1-of-5 beyond the arc, in the second half which allowed the Rattlers to stick around a little longer than expected. Nemanja Djurisic came off the bench to post a team-best 21 points and pull down seven rebounds in just 23 minutes of playing time, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brandon Morris produced 11 and 10 points, respectively. Having held at least a share of the scoring lead for the Bulldogs in all but two of their games so far this season, Caldwell-Pope is the obvious choice when the squad needs to put points on the board, averaging 17.5 ppg. Caldwell- Pope is also first on the team with 7.3 rpg and has recorded 28 of their 78 steals and has handed out 24 assists which means he can do a bit of everything. A defensive-minded program, Georgia is allowing only 61.8 ppg, but at the same time scoring just 61.3 ppg.
As long as Georgia can dictate the pace of the game, it won't matter that the squad doesn't have a wealth of reliable scorers because Caldwell-Pope might be able to carry the hosts all by himself.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgia 66, George Washington 57
01/04 10:31:21 ET