Felton's Dawgs dreadful on the road

ATHENS – Barring what is now a very unlikely appearance in the National Invitation Tournament, Georgia will play its final road game of the year tonight.

That's just fine with all the Bulldogs, who play Auburn at 8:05 p.m. in Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. If Georgia (12-15, 3-11 SEC) wins, it will not only snap a streak that has seen it lose 10 of the last 11 games, it will be the first conference road victory of the season.

Georgia has won just one road game of any kind, a 67-59 victory over Hawaii in a holiday tournament hosted by the Warriors. The Bulldogs' youth is the primary reason for their road struggles, head coach Dennis Felton said.

"The atmosphere in the game can have an impact on players, especially young players," Felton said. "It can have an impact on the home team in terms of inspiring and energizing them. It can have an impact on the officiating in terms of the officials getting caught up in the momentum."

The Dogs have never been even a decent road team under Felton, who is 9-42 on the road in five seasons. Georgia, which hasn't won more than three road games in a season since Felton's arrival, has won six SEC road games under him.

"I do think the intimacy of the arenas in basketball gives the home crowd more of an opportunity to impact the fabric of the game," Felton said.

If Georgia is going to snap its streak, the Tigers (14-13, 4-10) are as good a team as any to be playing. The Bulldogs have won in both of their trips to Beard-Eaves during the Felton era and are on a three-game winning streak in the series.

"They have given us problems in the past because of their physical nature at every position," Auburn head coach Jeff Lebo said. "They have size in (the post) and certainly that is something that's bothered us in the past."

The Tigers have only one starter over 6-foot-6 and none taller than 6-foot-8. That can cause problems of its own, Felton said.

"They are playing pretty much five guards all the time, and that's the big challenge for all their opponents, how to match up with five guys on the court who can all shoot the three and can all beat you off the dribble," Felton said.

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