Thu, 25 Feb 2021

Kentucky looks to extend dominance of Georgia

Field Level Media
20 Jan 2021, 06:05 GMT+10

Kentucky will look to beat Georgia for the 15th straight time when the Wildcats visit Athens, Ga., for a Southeastern Conference game Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (4-8, 3-2 SEC) are coming off a 66-59 loss to Auburn on Saturday and are off to their worst start through 12 games since 1930. But they have historically had little trouble handling the Bulldogs (8-4, 1-4).

Kentucky's 14-game winning streak in the series is their second-longest active streak against an SEC team, trailing only the 15 straight Kentucky has won against Mississippi State.

Kentucky must win Wednesday if it hopes to move a step closer toward making the NCAA Tournament and avoid its first losing season since 1988-89.

Kentucky's next five games are daunting. The Wildcats will host LSU (10-2, 5-1) on Saturday, travel to league-leading and No. 18 Alabama (11-3, 6-0) on Jan. 26, host No. 5 Texas (11-2) out of the Big 12 on Jan. 30, and play at No. 19 Missouri (8-2, 2-2) on Feb. 2. Kentucky will host No. 6 Tennessee (10-1, 4-1) on Feb. 6.

"We still have our chances," Wildcats coach John Calipari told the Lexington Herald-Leader when asked of his team's chances of making the NCAA Tournament. "We can go on a run and be fine."

Kentucky is led by Brandon Boston Jr. (11.5 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game), Terrence Clarke (10.7 ppg), Olivier Sarr (10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Keion Brooks Jr. (10 ppg, 5.3 rpg.)

Georgia is coming off one of its best games of the season. Tye Fagan scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the second half as the Bulldogs ended a four-game losing streak with a 78-74 win over host Ole Miss on Saturday.

Sahvir Wheeler posted 18 points and nine assists, while K.D. Johnson added 14 points that included 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Toumani Camara added 13 points and five rebounds for Georgia.

"K.D. brings confidence in a different way. I think the guys have felt better over the last couple of days knowing that he is out there with them," Georgia coach Tom Crean said. "They have responded; there was no, 'Hey, we got beat twice and we will just sit here on the negative.' We went back to work on what was causing us to lose and what we could control."

The Bulldogs shot 9-of-15 from 3-point range to highlight a day in which they hit 58.7 percent (27-of-46) from the field, including 75 percent (18-of-24) in the second half. Fagan made all nine of his shots from the field, including a 3-pointer.

"We shoot so many in practice we don't even chart them," Crean said. "That's why I know we're going to be a better shooting team."

--Field Level Media

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