For nearly two years, Kentucky has rarely been threatened at Rupp Arena. Despite history indicating that's likely to continue Tuesday night, the Wildcats aren't taking defensive-minded Georgia lightly.
No. 22 Kentucky looks to continue its dominance in all facets as it goes for the second-longest winning streak at Rupp.
Kentucky (17-6, 7-3 SEC) has won 33 straight home games by an average of 21.3 points and only six have been decided by 10 or fewer.
Article continues below ...
The Wildcats are still a long way off from the team-record 54-game win streak at Rupp set from 2009-12, but they tied the second-longest with Saturday's 80-61 victory over Florida.
Kentucky has won nine of the last 10 home matchups with Georgia (13-8, 6-4), including five straight following a 69-58 victory Feb. 3, 2015.
Coach John Calipari is anticipating a much tougher test from the Bulldogs, who allow a conference-low 37.6 percent shooting and 67.7 points per game. They limited Auburn to 25.9 percent from the floor and 19.4 from 3-point range in Saturday's 65-55 win.
Georgia, though, is 1-5 on the road.
“It's great position defense,” Calipari said. “(Coach Mark Fox is) mixing up a matchup 3-2, 2-3 zone, and he's doing some things that put them in great position so that you're getting one tough shot and they're rebounding the ball – and they're rebounding with all five.”
The Wildcats aren't too shabby defensively themselves, especially at home. They've held opponents to 62.7 points per game and 38.3 percent shooting while outrebounding them by an average of 10.5 in 13 games.
Star freshman Jamal Murray helped out on the other end of the court Saturday. The guard had a season-high 35 points while connecting on 13 of 21 shots, including 8 of 10 from beyond the arc. He's set a team record by making at least one 3 in his first 23 games.
“This is the way I should have been shooting all season,” said Murray, the team leader with 18.3 points per game. “Now I just have to keep it going.”
Tyler Ulis is averaging 21.5 points and 7.0 assists over the last six games after getting 18 and 11 against the Gators. The sophomore guard only totaled eight points while the Wildcats won both meetings with Georgia last season.
Kentucky could be without Alex Poythress for a second straight game due to a right knee injury. The senior forward leads the team with 6.6 rebounds per game while ranking third with 10.0 points.
“He had the swelling on the knee,” Calipari said. “They took an X-ray, I don't think the X-ray showed anything. But there's some reason it is, so it'll be day to day.”
If Georgia is going to win at Rupp for the first time since 2009, it will likely need to show some improvement from the floor. The Bulldogs have shot 36.8 percent over the last two games, but the defense yielded 28.7 to spur wins in both.
Leading scorer J.J. Frazier went 6 for 21 from the field while totaling 29 points over those two. That followed a three-game stretch during which he averaged 24.3 points on 52.2 percent shooting.
Frazier had eight points in the last visit to Lexington, while forward Yante Maten had 13 with nine boards.
Maten has 30 points, 20 rebounds and nine blocks over the last two games, and his 2.1 blocks per game rank third in the SEC.