Dawgs Recover; Slam State

ATHENS – Perhaps it was only appropriate. Georgia's previous game was decided on a rebound, and not in a good way.

Photos from the Game

So when it came to recovering from its most stunning loss of the season, rebounding was the emphasis.

Then it proved to be the difference. Along with hot shooting, and good passing, and bench scoring, and plenty more.

Travis Leslie dumped in 17 points (as did Gerald Robinson - pictured above) to lead the Dawgs in scoring.

There was little that went wrong in Georgia's 86-64 win over Mississippi State on Saturday.

"I'm pleased with the results today," head coach Mark Fox said, in quite an understatement.

It was a pummeling from the start: The last time the lead was in double digits was when Georgia had a 16-7 lead. It was a rout the rest of the way, with Georgia leading by as many as 25.

"We came out flat," MSU guard Dee Bost said. "Give them a lot of credit, they hit a lot of shots … it was bad."

From the beginning, it was obvious Georgia had more energy than on Tuesday, when it came out flat and lost to Tennessee, 59-57. That game was decided on the final play when the Vols' Brian Williams grabbed an offensive rebound over Chris Barnes – in what might have been an over-the-back foul.

So Fox, after a planned Wednesday off, made rebounding a big emphasis in Thursday's practice.

It showed on Saturday, as the Bulldogs won a lopsided rebounding margin, 48-23. It had 17 offensive rebounds, while MSU had only two. At one point, the scoreboard credited Georgia with a 36-12 advantage on the boards.

"Offensive rebounding is just effort," Thompkins said. "And guys are giving effort and giving as much effort as they can, because we care."

Everything clicked for Georgia (14-4, 3-2), which went 11-for-19 from beyond the arc. Dustin Ware and Sherrard Brantley had three apiece, and Thompkins had two, both in the first half.

It was an encouraging day for a Georgia team that entered ranking second-to-last in the SEC in 3-point percentage, and last in number of made 3s.

Georgia also got contributions from all over, with Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson tying for the team high with 17 points, and freshman Marcus Thornton (seven points, nine rebounds) having a big game off the bench.

Jeremy Price also responded well to coming off the bench for the first time this season. The senior forward had 11 points and five rebounds, including consecutive baskets during an early run as Georgia pulled away.

"We needed to bounce back from that (Tennessee game)," Price said. "We knew that we needed to. At practice (Fox) said some things that kind of fired us up."

The result was a second straight 22-point win of a team from Mississippi: The week before Georgia won at Ole Miss, 98-76.

Earlier this season, without Thompkins, Georgia barely beat Mississippi Valley State by two. But now it heads into Tuesday's home game against Florida with a chance to be in first place in the SEC East.

"We've had a couple tough days. Coach got on us a lot," Thompkins said. "And we had to step up to the challenge that he gave us. And we did. I'm proud of my team."

Click the below image to be taken to Dean's and Fletcher's thoughts on the win...

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