GAME 22: Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
#25 Auburn Tigers vs Georgia Bulldogs
Neville Arena - Auburn, AL
Time: 6:00 pm CST/7:00 pm EST
Network: SEC Network, Auburn Radio Network
Betting Odds: Auburn -12.0, Over/Under 141.0 via Draft Kings Sportsbook
(Odds/lines subject to change. Visit DraftKings for more information.)
Skin of our teeth, baby! Auburn lost two games last week, and at a certain point on Saturday looked to be in danger of losing two games in fairly embarrassing fashion. However, the Tigers mounted a comeback that ultimately fell just short against West Virginia and supervillain Erik Stevenson. Still, that left the Tigers at 0-2 for the week after having their 28-game home winning streak broken by Texas A&M during the midweek.
Now, we’ve hit February and the toughest portion of the schedule is still ahead of us, starting most importantly this coming Saturday with the first of two meetings against Tennessee. However, tonight is equally important as Auburn wants to erase a losing streak, hold serve at home, and exact revenge over the Georgia Bulldogs, who won the first meeting of the season about a month ago in Athens.
In that game, both teams had two players hit double figures, with Auburn getting 22 from Johni Broome (12 rebounds also), and 11 from Allen Flanigan. Unfortunately, Georgia’s Terry Roberts and Kario Oquendo combined for 43 points, and Georgia won 76-64. Wendell Green went just 2-12 from the floor for 7 points and 4 turnovers, while the Tigers went just 6-28 from three on the night. Meanwhile, Georgia was 6-15 from deep, and hit 45% of their shots in total.
That game seemed to kickstart the Tigers, and they won the next five SEC games before falling a week ago to A&M. Now, we have to pick it back up and see if we can create some momentum before it’s @Tennessee, @Texas A&M, and at home against Alabama over the next 10 days.
Georgia looked like a much improved team for a while with Mike White at the helm. Hey, they beat us, and then as they were sitting at 3-1 in the league, they went off a cliff. Losses at Kentucky, to Vandy at home, and a 29-point shredding at Tennessee sent them into a tailspin that was just barely righted with an overtime victory over South Carolina on Saturday.
It’s still very much the Roberts/Oquendo show for the Bulldogs, but Georgia was saved on Saturday by Mardrez McBridge, who went 5-7 from three off the bench in the 85-82 overtime win. Georgia isn’t very good at shooting the three as a team, but over the past few games whenever they’ve hit several threes, it’s been one unexpected guy off the bench getting hot. Like McBride, Jabri Abdur-Rahim doing the same thing by hitting 5-8 against Vanderbilt three games ago.
You can see the team numbers for yourself, but Georgia doesn’t do any one thing particularly well except for rebounding and getting to the foul line. Big guards like they’ve got certainly help with both of those areas.
I’m hoping that what we saw in the second half in Morgantown carries over, and that the team feels better after how they fought back. Carrying that to tonight and putting it in front of the Jungle should help the Tigers, who seemed to have a similar lull to the A&M game when they went to Athens the previous time. Auburn is favored by 12 points tonight, which seems like a lot after two straight defeats, but the Tigers really don’t lose to teams like Georgia at home. I think the defense overall has a big night, limiting the Bulldogs to the low 60s at most, and we see another big game from Johni Broome. A start like we had against the Aggies wouldn’t go amiss, as long as we can keep our foot down.
Auburn 71, Georgia 60