GAME NOTES: In the second half of a two-game road swing, the Vanderbilt Commodores will attempt to knock off the Georgia Bulldogs in SEC action tonight at Stegeman Coliseum.
Vanderbilt took down Texas A&M in a 66-55 final on the road last Saturday, ending a two-game slide and improving its overall record to 10-8. They are still just 2-4 in SEC play and the win over the Aggies was their first in five tries on the road. Vanderbilt begins a three-game homestand against Mississippi State next.
Georgia had won four of five bouts before visiting Kentucky on Saturday, but the Bulldogs were run over by the Wildcats in a 79-54 final. Mark Fox's squad is now 11-8 overall, although that includes a sterling 9-1 ledger at home. The Bulldogs will be on the road against Auburn next.
The Commodores won the only meeting between these two teams a year ago, and has won eight straight against the Bulldogs overall. As a result, Vanderbilt owns an 87-49 advantage in the all-time series.
James Siakam finished with a double-double consisting of 22 points and 10 rebounds, while also blocking four shots in Vanderbilt's win over Texas A&M. The Commodores limited the Aggies to 33.3 percent shooting in the contest, while outscoring them 21-12 from 3-point range.
Vanderbilt is one of the worst offensive teams in the SEC this season, ranking next-to-last in the conference in scoring (68.3 ppg) on a 44.9 percent effort from the floor. The Commodores do a better job on defense, permitting just 67.2 ppg on 40.6 percent shooting. The offense has not been helped by the loss of leading scorer Eric McClellan (14.2 ppg), who has been out since being suspended for legal/disciplinary issues earlier this month. Rod Odom (14 ppg) is the next best option, while Damian Jones (11.3 ppg) and Kyle Fuller (11.1 ppg, 4.1 apg) also get into the mix.
Georgia only managed to connect on 32.7 percent of its field goal tries against Kentucky. The Bulldogs also turned the ball over 20 times and had 11 shots blocked. Brandon Morris scored 15 points to pace the team, but he turned the ball over five times.
The Bulldogs have only been marginally better offensively than their counterpart in this matchup. They are 12th in the SEC in scoring (70.2 ppg), while draining 44.8 percent of their shots from the floor. Charles Mann (12.9 ppg) and Kenny Gaines (12 ppg) are the top offensive weapons for Georgia. Mann really struggled against Kentucky though, tallying only nine points on a 1- of-9 shooting effort from the floor. Gaines had scored in double figures in four of the previous five outings, but missed the Kentucky game with a bruised thigh. He is questionable for this bout. Without Gaines, Nemanja Djurisic (10.3 ppg) will be leaned on more than usual.
Gaines will have a major impact in this contest. The Bulldogs are not balanced enough to overcome a loss of one of their most reliable scorers, although at home they may be able to sneak by.
Game Date and Time