Bulldogs Beat Bulldawgs

Last year the Georgia Bulldawgs went from last in the SEC East to tournament champions thanks to an improbable run through the four days in Atlanta helped in part by a tornado. Well it would have taken a tsunami of epic proportions to get Georgia past the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Tampa and it didn't happen.

State used a surge midway through the first half to take command of the contest and went on to a 79-60 win over Georgia. The Bulldogs made a brief run in the second half but it was too little too late as Georgia's long, difficult season comes to a close. Kodi Augustus led the way for State. The 6-8 freshman scored 19 points off the bench while All-SEC Center Jarvis Varnado controlled the middle with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Georgia got 14 points and seven rebounds from senior forward Terrance Woodbury in his final game in red and block.

The first eight minutes were played on even terms with Georgia taking a 15-14 lead with 11:33 to go in the half on a Dustin Ware three-point basket. Then State got going. The Bulldogs dominated the next six minutes, outscoring the Bulldawgs 16-2, taking a 30-17 run with 5:46 to go. The rest of the half was rather uneventful and State went to the locker room up 40-26.

Georgia showed some life after the break, opening the second half on a 16-7 run to close to within five (47-42) on a three by Terrence Woodbury. But that was all the fun the Dawgs would have on this day. Mississippi State scored the next ten points, capped by a Jarvis Varnado dunk that made it 57-42 and the rest was pretty much academic.

With the win State improves to 20-12 and solidifies its status as a solid NIT team though their NCAA at-large chances are rather remote. They'll face South Carolina Friday afternoon (3:15) and a couple more wins could move them without shouting (barking?) distance of the tournament bubble. Georgia's season ends at 12-20 and the Bulldawgs will turn their attention to finding a new coach. Former Gator assistant Anthony Grant who is doing a great job at Virginia Commonwealth (76-24) is high on Georgia's wish list.

Up next in Tampa a 7:30 game between Vanderbilt and Alabama followed by the Gators and Arkansas.

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