Georgia Earns Hard-Fought Win Over Mississippi State
ATHENS, Ga. — The University of Georgia men’s basketball team picked up its second Southeastern Conference win of the season with a 58-50 win over Mississippi State Wednesday evening before 7,741 spectators inside Stegeman Coliseum.
Senior Terry Roberts led all scorers in the contest with 16 points, along with three rebounds and three assists. Four Bulldogs also scored in double-figures, including fifth-year Braelen Bridges, who with 11 points, became the 49th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
“Good win. What a weird game,” said head coach Mike White. “My goodness, two really good teams that struggled to get going offensively. They are one of the best defensive teams in the country. We really guarded at a high clip tonight. We got some stops down the stretch when needed. I thought our bench was really good. … I am thankful to the crowd that came out. I thought they were a really big factor in the win, especially defensively late in the game. Mississippi State is very, very good. Every team in this league is. We take every one that we can get. This is a good win for us."
Georgia (12-4, 2-1 SEC) came out imposing their will defensively, holding Mississippi State (12-4, 1-3 SEC) to just 1-of-7 shooting heading into the first media timeout. Despite limiting the opposition to just one made basket, UGA had trouble converting its opportunities, turning the ball over four times in the early minutes. After taking an initial 5-2 lead, UGA went over seven minutes before its next field goal.
Georgia reclaimed its lead when Roberts found an open Jusaun Holt for a three, followed shortly by a three of his own in the corner. Mississippi State put itself back front, 19-18, off a pair of triples with two minutes remaining in the half, but a pair of Georgia makes at the line gave it a 20-19 lead heading into halftime. Despite 10 turnovers and only five field goals, UGA’s defense held MSU to 7-of-32 shooting from the field.
Georgia began the second half against sluggishly on offense, making just two field goals in the first seven minutes of the period. Despite the drought, Roberts again put the Bulldogs ahead at the under-12 timeout with a driving layup. Mississippi State again moved in front, 34-30, kickstarting a back-and-forth sequence that saw junior Justin Hill make two critical 3-pointers to regain the Georgia lead each time.
Following a Georgia timeout, Roberts found a cutting Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe for a dunk that gave the Bulldogs the lead for good. Down three in the final 90 seconds, Mississippi State missed a potential tying three, allowing junior Jabri Abdur-Rahim to convert both free throws and pad the lead. After one last MSU dunk, Bridges clinched the game with a pair of makes while also reaching the 1,000-point mark in his career.
Georgia continues its SEC schedule this Saturday, Jan. 14 against Ole Miss Rebels at 1 p.m. in the The Pavilion in Oxford, Mississippi. The Bulldogs hold a 73-47 all-time advantage over Ole Miss, winning their last game in Oxford, 78-74, on Jan. 16, 2021.
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