Mississippi State beats Georgia, wins 3rd straight SEC game
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Lamar Peters scored a season-high 20 points to lead Mississippi State to a 72-57 win over Georgia on Saturday night.
Quinndary Weatherspoon and his brother Nick Weatherspoon added 14 points for Mississippi State while Aric Holman chipped in 12 points, all of which came in the second half. The Bulldogs (17-6, 5-5 SEC) have now won three straight SEC games.
Georgia (13-9, 5-5) received 13 points from Yante Maten and Tyree Crump while Pape Diatta added 12 points.
“That was a great performance for our team and just a credit to our players and how hard they are playing, defensively,” said Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland. “We are improving, offensively, and that is the third game in a row we’ve shot over 50 percent from the field. It all starts with our defense and starts with our rebounding. But our preparation is what is so gratifying to me and I think we are growing into a really good team. That is fun to watch.”
Peters was 9 of 17 from the field for Mississippi State and, as a team, the Bulldogs shot 50.9 percent for the game. Peters also had a season-high four steals along with two assists.
“I saw it early,” said Peters. “When Coach started calling high ball screens for me, I saw their bigs were kinda slow getting through them. So I saw the lanes open up today and I just wanted to attack.”
Georgia shot 40.8 percent for the game and made 9 of 21 beyond the arc. The Bulldogs had 12 turnovers and were outscored 34-20 in the paint. Mississippi State also held a 37-20 advantage on rebounds.
Georgia trailed by double digits for the entire second half by as many as 19 in the period. The Bulldogs also failed to lead at any point during the game and trailed by double digits for the final 28 minutes of the game.
“Our team has been a good defensive rebounding team this season,” said Georgia head coach Mark Fox. “But tonight we were not that. We did not force enough misses and when we did, we didn’t get the rebounds. My compliments to Mississippi State and I thought they played pretty solid. But I was disappointed in our level of physicality.”
Mississippi State jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the opening minutes and continued to add more separation the remainder of the first half. Thanks to Peters’ 3 pointer, Mississippi State built a 24-11 lead midway through the first half and Georgia never got within single digits the rest of the half.
Led by Peters’ 13 points in the first half, Mississippi State held a 37-21 advantage at halftime. The Bulldogs shot 48.4 percent in the first half while Georgia shot just 33.3 percent from the field. Mississippi State also dominated the boards in the first half with a 22-9 advantage.
Georgia: The Bulldogs have now lost four of their last five games inside SEC play. Fox pointed to his team’s lack of physicality in the loss at Mississippi State, particularly on the defensive backboards.
Mississippi State: After a 2-5 start in the SEC, Mississippi State has now won three straight league games for the first time since last January. The Bulldogs are now 15-1 at home and 3-1 in SEC home games.
Georgia remains on the road in SEC action and will travel to Vanderbilt on Wednesday.
Mississippi State closes out a two-game home stand on Tuesday and will host Alabama.