SEC Tourney: Georgia Beats Miss. St., 71-61

WATCH Complete Game Highlights

March 9, 2012

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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

MISS ST 29 32 61
GEORGIA 31 40 71

Team Stat Comparison
Points 71 61
FG Made-Attempted 26-51 (.510) 21-54 (.389)
3P Made-Attempted 7-19 (.368) 7-24 (.292)
FT Made-Attempted 12-19 (.632) 12-15 (.800)
Rebounds 27 33
Steals 7 2
Blocks 2 1
Assists 11 15
Turnovers 7 15
Fouls 14 17
Game Leaders
Points G. Robinson 23 J. Steele 19
Rebs N. Djurisic 10 W. Lewis 9
Assts G. Robinson 4 D. Bost 6
Steals K. Caldwell-Pope 3 Bryant, Lewis 1
Blocks Caldwell-Pope, Williams 1 W. Lewis 1

Baton Rouge, LA. --- Gerald Robinson scored 23 points and Dustin Ware added 13, all in the second half, as Georgia defeated Mississippi State 71-61 in the SEC Tournament first round here Thursday night.

The Bulldogs (15-16), who defeated State for the second time this season, have advanced to the second round for the third consecutive season under head coach Mark Fox. They'll face third-seeded Vanderbilt at approximately 10:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday.

"That was a terrific win for us," Fox said . "We beat a very good basketball team. So to do that, we had to play very well, which I thought we did a lot of really good things in the game. I thought that offensively we played really within our system and played together and felt like we had a lot of good possessions."

Georgia appeared in trouble when State took a 14-7 lead early in the game and the Bulldogs, meanwhile, were saddled with foul trouble. Both frontline starters Donte' Williams and Marcus Thornton incurred two first-half fouls and played just nine minutes between them in the opening period.

Robinson, however, and freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope keyed a Georgia rally that got the Bulldogs back into contention. Caldwell-Pope's 3-pointer with 2:47 left in the half evened the score at 25 and after a Jalen Steele miss, Robinson drove to the basket and was fouled with 2:19 left. His free throw put Georgia into the lead at 26-25.

Robinson's layup with 23 seconds left in the first half gave Georgia a lead it held for the game's remainder.

Ware, who had missed his only three shots of the first half, heated up in the second period. He scored a 2-pointer and 3-pointer on consecutive trips amid a 10-0 run for the Bulldogs, who blew the game open in the first eight minutes. A free throw by Nemanja Djurisic at the 13:06 mark got Georgia its first double-digit lead at 44-34.

Ware's third trey of the half pushed the Bulldog lead to its largest at 49-36 with 11:51 remaining. They achieved that margin one final time at 54-41 on a Robinson layup with 8:18 left.

Nine straight points by Steele, who led the maroon Bulldogs with 19 points, put State back into contention late in the game. His 3-pointer at the 3:50 mark trimmed the margin to 60-57. Djurisic responded with a putback on Georgia's next trip.

Perhaps the game's biggest bucket came on a mid-range Robinson jumper with a minute left, giving the Bulldogs a 66-59 lead. From there, they secured the victory by making five of six foul shots.



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