Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Georgia Bulldogs played the Mississippi State Bulldogs for the second time this season on Wednesday. Georgia was coming off a hard loss against Arkansas, while Mississippi State hadn’t won an SEC game since January 22nd. That was eleven games ago. Let’s face facts, Mississippi State is a terrible basketball team, and the Dawgs should have clobbered them. That’s exactly what UGA did in front of a home crowd in Athens.
The first half saw Georgia fall behind on a terrible start. It was so bad that UGA had only scored 6 total points in 8 minutes before Mark Fox got completely frustrated and called a time-out. That tongue-lashing obviously got through to the players, as they catapulted themselves from a 6 point deficit, to a 13 point lead at the half. The best play of the first half came as Mississippi State tried to grind down the last 30 seconds on the clock. State missed their shot, Georgia got a rebound with 5 seconds left, rushed down the floor, and Charles Mann tossed up an alley-oop dunk to Gaines at the buzzer. The crowd went completely nuts. The refs might as well have stopped the game at that point, but they let both teams come out to play a second half.
The rest of the game was just a formality as Georgia really put the wood to Mississippi State. Georgia was in complete control, shooting 43% from the floor, while the State Bulldogs went 0-15 from the 3 point line trying to play catchup. The game got so out of hand that with 3 minutes left Mark Fox had subbed out all the starters. Kenny Gaines finished with 14 points, 2 blocks, and 2 assists. Charles Mann had a great night with 10 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Also, reliable Marcus Thornton put up 13 points to go with 6 rebounds and 3 blocks.
These games are just window dressing for Georgia heading into the SEC tournament. It is exceedingly likely that their only chance to get to the dance is to run the table in that conference tournament, so as a fan, you’d want to see them finish strong. They did just that against Mississippi State. Next up the Dawgs head to LSU for their final regular season game. That game may well decide Georgia’s seeding in the tournament, so don’t miss it.