Georgia Defeats MSU 67-63

The 21st ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (13-5, 3-4 SEC) gave a valiant effort against the 15th ranked Georgia Bulldogs (13-5, 5-2) on Georgia's homecourt before falling 67-63.<P> Leading by 5, 59-54, with 3:03 left on the second half clock, the MSU Bulldogs saw their lead slip away when Georgia's Ezra Williams made 3 straight three-pointers during a minute and twenty-five second span to put the Georgia Bulldogs ahead by one, 60-59.

After Georgia expanded the lead to 65-61, MSU had a chance to pull to within 2 but Timmy Bowers saw his layup knocked out of bounds by Jarvis Hayes. Bowers appeared to be fouled on the play but no call was made.

Georgia's Williams was fouled on the inbounds pass and made 1 of 2 free throws to put the game out of reach.

The game, for the first 6 minutes of the first half, was a seesaw affair with the two teams tied, 9-9, at the 13:49 mark of the half.

Georgia, behind the play of Chris Daniels, pulled away from MSU and led the game 15-9 with 12:56 left in the first half.

After MSU's Derrick Zimmerman made a layup to make the score 15-11, the Georgia Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to expand the lead to 9, 20-11.

The MSU Bulldogs slowly knocked the lead back down to five before the Georgia Bulldogs built out their biggest lead of the game, 11 points, with 1:01 to go in the first half.

Georgia kept that lead going into halftime

MSU started the second half with a three-pointer by Michal Ignerski to cut the lead to 8, 40-32.

The Georgia Bulldogs expanded the lead out to 10 before the MSU Bulldogs went on their best run of the night.

Beginning at the 14:34 mark in the second half, the MSU Bulldogs went on a 15-4 run that put them ahead, 52-49, with 8:21 to go on the clock. Using an in-and-out offense during the spurt, guard Timmy Bowers scored 5 points while forward Branden Vincent and center Mario Austin scored 4 apiece

The two teams traded buckets from that point on until MSU's Winsome Frazier scored a three-pointer that put the MSU Bulldogs ahead, 59-54, with 3:53 to go in the second half.

That's when the Georgia Bulldogs' Ezra Williams started his 3-point scoring binge that sealed the victory for the homestanding Bulldogs.

Williams led the Georgia Bulldogs in scoring with 17 points. After scoring 4 points in the first half, he scored 13 in the second half. Chris Daniel scored 16 points while Steve Thomas had 13 points.

The MSU Bulldogs were led by All-American candidate Mario Austin with 14 points. Timmy Bowers scored 13 and Michal Ignerski chipped in 10 points.

MSU shot 41% from the field for the game. Georgia shot the ball at a 40% clip.

The MSU Bulldogs outrebounded the Georgia Bulldogs 45 to 33.

The MSU Bulldogs, beginning a three-game homestand, head back home to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores, winners of two straight, in the friendly confines of Humphrey Coliseum Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

Mississippi State, which is 7-2 at home this season, will go up against a Vanderbilt team that has not won a road game this season, going 0-6.



The play of Georgia's Ezra Williams during the last two minutes of the ballgame.
"We were down in the first half and fought back. We got ourselves in a position to win the ballgame but two great players stepped up and made bigtime plays. That is what great players do, they make plays at critical times. Ezra Williams did just what he does to everybody. He goes on spurts in every game. It just so happened against us it was in the last two minutes when they were down five points."

Team's play in the second half.
"We could have laid down at halftime and been out of the basketball game but we didn't. We came back out and fought. I'm proud of the way our team fought. We took control of the game in the second half and controlled it for 18 or 19 minutes, but we didn't finish the ballgame."

What his team learn from the loss.
"There's not much you can take from this game. It is an L. We had a chance to win a ballgame on the road against a great basketball team. And we didn't finish it out. That is what makes it so tough. We have to learn from that last minute situation."

Talking about the play near the end of the game when Bowers attempted to make a layup only to see it blocked out of bounds by Jarvis Hayes. MSU's team thought there should have been either a foul called or a goaltend called.
"There should have been a goaltend or foul called which we didn't get out of the play. But that's part of being on the road. It is never easy to go on the road."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at

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