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Bulldogs advance to face Missouri

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Georgia vs Vanderbilt Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia fights on. The Bulldogs opened up the 2018 SEC Tournament with a spirited performance in a 78-62 win over Vanderbilt Wednesday night. Things just get more difficult from here as they will face a rested Missouri team on Thursday that will be getting back one of its key players.

Tigers head coach Cuonzo Martin announced on Wednesday that Michael Porter Jr. would suit up and play in Missouri’s SEC Tournament game on Thursday. Porter has missed virtually the entire season with a back injury. Despite sitting out, he is still projected to go in the Top 5 of the upcoming NBA Draft.

Even without Porter, Missouri turned in an impressive season finishing with a 20-11 record to go along with a 10-8 conference mark earning the fifth seed and an opening bye.

The Tigers come into Thursday’s game having won two straight games and seven of the last 10. Missouri defeated Georgia 68-56 at home way back on January 10 behind a balanced offensive attack. The Bulldogs shot just 37 percent from the field and turned the ball over 12 times in the loss.

Georgia did exactly what they needed to do on Wednesday jumping all over the Commodores from the tip and racing out to a 43-22 lead at the half. The margin of victory allowed Mark Fox to go deep into his bench which is big given that there is a less than 24 hour turnaround for Thursday’s game.

As has been the case for the entire season, Yante Maten came up big for the Bulldogs scoring a game-high 25 points on 9-12 shooting. Freshman Teshaun Hightower added 13 while Rayshaun Hammonds also finished in double figures with 10.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Thursday, March 8, 3 p.m. ET

Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri

TV: SEC Network

Streaming: SECN+

Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network. Flagship: WSB AM 750 Atlanta