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Georgia vs Missouri basketball preview: Bulldogs open conference slate against Tigers

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Mark Fox and company face a tall task Wednesday night when they open SEC play on the road against Missouri.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After a 6-6 record in nonconference play, the Georgia Bulldogs begin the SEC portion of their schedule Wednesday night on the road against No. 21 Missouri. To say the Bulldogs face a tough task would be an understatement. The Tigers are 58-2 at Mizzou Arena since the 2011 season and have won 26 straight at home.

Georgia has lost two straight and is 0-4 away from Stegeman Coliseum. To have a chance on Wednesday, the Bulldogs are going to have to come up with a much more consistent defensive effort than they have shown early in the season.

Missouri's high scoring wing combination of Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown have led the Tigers to an 11-1 record. Their only blemish came in a one point loss to Illinois in St. Louis. Clarkson leads the way, averaging 19.3 points per game, while Brown is close behind at 18.4. Both shoot a high percentage and like to put the ball on the floor to get to the free throw line.

For the Bulldogs to have a chance, they will have to have big games defensively and on the boards. Georgia is allowing nearly 70 points a game which is in the bottom half of the SEC so far this season. Rebounding has been the key stat for the Bulldogs early on this season, as they are a perfect 6-0 when they outrebound their opponents and 0-6 when they don't.

Georgia is clearly not favored in this matchup and anything other than a focused performance could have them looking at a lopsided loss. However, if they can keep the game close and get a big offensive night along the way from someone like Charles Mann, Kenny Gaines or Brandon Morris, then it would be a huge momentum builder heading into the rest of conference play.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, January 8, 8 p.m. ET

Location: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Missouri

TV: SECTV