Bulldogs face another ranked team Saturday when they visit Alabama

Herbert Jones (left) is averaging 11.4 points per game for Alabama. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Herbert Jones (left) is averaging 11.4 points per game for Alabama. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Georgia lost to Tennessee on Wednesday in its most recent game. But the Bulldogs still may have some momentum heading into Saturday’s game at Alabama.

Georgia (12-7, 4-7 SEC) outscored the 16th-ranked Volunteers by 10 points in the second half Wednesday night but still lost 89-81.

They just need a better start at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against the No. 11 Crimson Tide (16-5, 11-1). The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

“The sky’s not falling because we didn’t have it early,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said Wednesday night. “But we have to play with force for 40 minutes, we have to play aggressive for 40 minutes. It’s amazing, we were playing faster in the second half with less turnovers. That’s just what we have to do. Whether the offense is there or not, we have to play aggressively defensively.”

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Georgia is 9-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field-goal percentage of 43.4% or less. The Bulldogs are 3-7 when allowing the opposition to shoot better than that.

The playmaking Sahvir Wheeler is averaging 13.5 points and 7.3 assists to lead Georgia. He has been directly responsible for 43% of his team’s field goals over the past three games. The sophomore guard has 17 field goals and 21 assists in those games.

Freshman K.D. Johnson is averaging 13 points per game in nine games for the Bulldogs since the NCAA granted him eligibility last month.

“K.D. is the product of going right into the heart of the schedule,” Crean said, “and it’s not easy when you are not just playing one position or when you don’t have the ball in your hands all the time. He’s adjusting to everything and is on a good path.”

Toumani Camara is contributing 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Alabama is coming off an 81-78 win over South Carolina on Tuesday.

The Crimson Tide is led by sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford, who is scoring 13.7 points per game. Guard John Petty is contributing 13.4 points per game and forward Herbert Jones averages 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds.

“Alabama does a great job of setting the pace and finding the matchups they want to exploit,” Crean said. “That sets their drive-and-kick game, and they are constantly trying to get you to overhelp on the ball to create the open 3. You can’t overhelp on their drives.”

Alabama has won its past seven home games, scoring an average of 81.7 points while giving up 65.

The Crimson Tide has made 10.6 3-pointers per game this season, which ranks eighth-best among Division I teams.

Saturday’s game will be Georgia’s second of three consecutive against ranked teams in seven days. The Bulldogs host No. 10 Missouri on Tuesday night.

Credit: SEC

Georgia (12-7, 4-7 SEC) suffered its first loss in its past three games, losing 89-81 to No. 14 Tennessee in Knoxville.

Credit: SEC

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