Facing Vanderbilt, Georgia tries to halt 6-game slide

When Georgia and Vanderbilt meet Wednesday for the first time this season, the two slumping Southeastern Conference squads are facing the possibility of playing again in three weeks in the conference tournament.With both schools in the SEC’s bottom four, there’s a good chance they could square off in Nashville — the site of Wednesday’s game on the Vanderbilt campus — when the conference tournament opens on March 13 in the Music City’s famed downtown.Georgia coach Mike White and Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse would like to see improvement over the final six games of the regular season as they try to avoid the two opening-round matchups, which consist of the bottom four squads in the conference competing to advance to the next day.At 11th in the SEC, the Bulldogs (14-11, 4-8 SEC) are mired in a six-game skid, bookended by setbacks against arch-rival Florida that saw the Gators build a 10-game winning streak against Georgia.In Saturday’s 88-82 loss, White’s group shot 18 of 30 (60 percent) overall in the first half on the way to a 46-40 lead.But the Bulldogs made just 9 of 24 (37.5 percent) shots in the latter 20 minutes and allowed the Gators to outscore them 48-36.”We’ve got to guard a lot better and make simpler decisions with the basketball,” White said. “Some of the live-ball turnovers and other turnovers and ill-advised fouls … those things add up.”You can’t win in this league if you’re not more accountable and disciplined than that.”Despite being hammered 88-53 on Saturday by in-state rival Tennessee, Vanderbilt (7-18, 2-10) has managed a pair of wins in its past five contests.

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