Georgia basketball is looking for a win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night that would give the Bulldogs their first back-to-back SEC wins of the season.
A win would also enable UGA to claim a Tennessee state championship of sorts. The Bulldogs beat then-No. 9 Memphis 65-62 on the road, and Tennessee 80-63 in Athens, earlier this season.
Georgia (13-13, 3-10 SEC) plays at Vanderbilt (9-17, 1-12) at 6 p.m. in Memorial Gym on Saturday in Nashville (TV: SEC Network).
The Bulldogs are looking to gain momentum after knocking off No. 13 Auburn last Wednesday night in Stegeman Coliseum.
The win over Auburn represented the highest-ranked opponent Georgia has beaten at home since topping No. 11 Florida back in 2012.
Second-year coach Tom Crean said during a Friday media availability at Stegeman Coliseum that the win over Bruce Pearl’s Final Four program was key, but it’s important his team continue to show growth.
“It was the way that we won, and we were able to grow up inside of the game … make free throws, not turn it over,” said Crean, who’s operating with nine freshmen on the team.
“Now, the key is to be able to sustain it and get better, and that’s where the maturity part of it comes in.”
Georgia won last season’s meeting over Vanderbilt 82-63 in Athens. But the last time the Bulldogs played the Commodores on the road, on Feb. 7, 2018, Vanderbilt pulled off an 81-66 victory.
The Commodores’ only SEC win this season was a shocker, a 99-90 victory over then-No. 18 LSU on Feb. 5. It was the Bayou Bengals’ first conference loss of the season.
Crean said first-year Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse runs a complex offense that Georgia will have to digest quickly.
“Very difficult challenge because of how much movement they have,” Crean said. “They run a ton of different actions, and there’s no way we’re going to get ready for every bit of that, we got to get ready for the concepts, we got to make sure we understand what they’re trying to get.”
Georgia’s Anthony Edwards enters the game the nation’s leading freshman scorer, averaging 18.9 points per game.
Edwards has scored in double figures in 22 of his 25 games this season.
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