Georgia 86, Mississippi State 73
ATHENS, Ga. (AP)—Georgia scored 10 straight points midway through the second half after Mississippi State crept within seven points to survive with an 86-73 victory Saturday.
The Southeastern Conference teams trying to preserve NCAA tournament hopes began the day with identical overall and SEC records and almost identical RPIs— Georgia is No. 61 and Mississippi State is No. 62.
Georgia (17-10 overall, 8-6 SEC) ended Mississippi State’s four-game winning streak as Levi Stukes scored 21 points and Takais Brown added 17.
Most of Stukes’ outside shooting came after Brown established an early inside advantage. Billy Humphrey scored 13 points and Sundiata Gaines had 10 points.
Reginald Delk led Mississippi State (16-11 overall, 7-7 SEC) with 22 points. Dietric Slater added 18.
Mississippi State’s Jamont Gordon, coming off the school’s second triple-double in a win over Vanderbilt, had 8 points while making only 3 of 12 shots from the field.
Georgia led only 62-55 before pulling away with a 10-0 run. Stukes sparked the streak with a 3-pointer.
Mississippi State, which began the day as the only Western Division team with more than one road win in the conference, had its two-game road winning streak end.
Brown scored eight of Georgia’s first 12 points, all near the basket. Georgia was quick to take advantage of the big power forward Mississippi State started only one player listed as taller than 6-foot-4.
When Mississippi State added more size and began collapsing its defense around Brown, Georgia quickly adjusted with a barrage of 3-point shots. Georgia made six of its first eight 3-point shots to take big leads of 21-9 and 41-27 before settling for a 47-33 halftime advantage.
Georgia made 12 of 19 3-pointers for the game, including 5 of 7 by Stukes.