UGA Bounces State; Cocks Next

NASHVILLE - Georgia downed 11th-seeded Mississippi State, 79-69, Thursday night in second round action of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

With the win, sixth-seeded Georgia (18-12, 10-8) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Tournament. UGA now holds an all-time mark of 57-53 against Mississippi State (14-17, 7-11) and a 10-3 mark against them in SEC Tournament play. UGA is 43-53 all-time in SEC Tournament games.

J.J. Frazier and Yante Maten both broke the twenty-point barrier. Frazier finished the night with a game-high 28 points, while Maten added 20.

“I don’t think we handled the double-figure lead very well,” head coach Mark Fox said. “You knew that with a team whose season could end, would come storming back especially with the seniors that they have. We talked at the final timeout about getting back our composure and stability and we were able to do that. We were able to slow their finish and get the victory.”

Mississippi State jumped out to a quick 8-4 lead, but Georgia slowly crept back before taking its first lead at 12-10 after a three-point basket. After a back and forth next several minutes Georgia picked up some momentum going on a run to take a 40-29 lead. Mississippi State ended the half on a strong note, but it was Georgia who took a 40-34 lead into the break.

Both teams came out of the gates in the second half with a purpose trading baskets for the first three minutes. Georgia broke things open taking a14 point lead with 16 minutes to go. Mississippi State got things rolling midway through the half cutting Georgia’s lead to seven points. Several minutes later Georgia’s lead was down to four heading into the final media timeout, but the Bulldogs made their free throws down the stretch, ensuring the victory at 79-69

Georgia returns to SEC Tournament action tomorrow night with a game against third-seeded South Carolina following the conclusion of the Kentucky vs. Alabama matchup.

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