On Wednesday, the Georgia Bulldogs escaped the ice storm in Georgia and took on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville. The weather conditions weren’t much better in Mississippi, and in addition to the bad travel, the Georgia team was dealing with an illness. That should account for the extremely slow start that saw UGA only score 2 points in the first 6 minutes of play. At one point, UGA trailed 22-8 in the game. Luckily, Mississippi State went ice-cold with 7 minutes left in the half, allowing the Dawgs to go on a run and take the lead 28-27 at the break. Without that stroke of fortune, the game could have easily slipped away under a deluge of Georgia turnovers.
Georgia came out hot in the second half and went on a quick 13-4 run before the first media timeout. They honestly looked like a completely different team busting out of the locker room. Perhaps Mark Fox put some Emergen-C in the water coolers. Whatever it was, it worked. If you watched UGA play in the early part of the game, you might have turned off the TV and assumed they were on the way to getting stomped. Instead, they ended up shooting over 54% from the floor and out-rebounding State handily in the game.
Charles Mann was the player of the game for UGA again. He’s been a difference-maker for the Dawgs all year long, but it’s great to see him step up and take control of a game that looked out of hand early. Mann finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. He did a little bit of everything. Also, the surprise player of the game was Juwan Parker who put up a dazzling 16 points off the bench. That’s coming from a player who normally scores about 4 points a game. Both players really stole the show away from a Mississippi State team that thought they were on their way to an easy win in the first half.
Next up for UGA, they will play Ole Miss in Athens on Saturday. That should be a fun one to watch with UGA’s big-time play at home.