Georgia vs Mississippi State

Georgia 71, Mississippi St. 61


NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Gerald Robinson scored 23 points, Dustin Ware added 13 and Georgia beat Mississippi State 71-61 in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Thursday night.

Georgia stretched its lead to 54-41 on Robinson's layup with 8:12 remaining, but Mississippi State had one last rally. Jalen Steele scored nine points in 90 seconds, and his final 3-pointer pulled the Bulldogs within 60-57 with 3:44 remaining.

But Georgia (15-16) - the tournament's No. 11 seed - held on for the surprising win. Robinson's jumper with 59 seconds left gave his team an insurmountable 66-59 lead.

Sixth-seeded Mississippi State (21-11) was led by Steele's 19 points. Brian Bryant scored 11 and Dee Bost added 10.

MSU's Arnett Moultrie had a SEC-best 18 double-doubles this season, but finished with just seven points and eight rebounds.

Mississippi State has lost six of its past eight. Georgia has won three of four and will face Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Georgia had already beaten Mississippi State once this season - a 70-68 overtime decision in Starkville, Miss. - and it started a downhill spiral that included a five-game losing streak and tumble from the national rankings. And the Bulldogs were a handful for Mississippi State once again.

Mississippi State's NCAA tournament resume took a major hit with the loss. Missing the "Big Dance" would be a crushing blow for a team that was ranked No. 15 in the nation just a month ago, but fell apart in February and March.

Georgia has struggled for much of the season, but improved during February. The Bulldogs came into the tournament after winning two of their final three regular-season games, including an impressive 76-62 victory over Florida.

Georgia last won the SEC tournament with a miracle run in 2008, winning four games in four days after finishing 4-12 in league play.

Early, it didn't look good for Georgia.

Mississippi State controlled the opening minutes and a powerful, two-handed Wendell Lewis jam in traffic gave the Bulldogs an early 14-7 lead.

But Georgia recovered and stayed close before taking a 29-27 lead on Nemanja Djurisic's long 3-pointer with 1:03 remaining. Georgia led 31-29 at halftime and then cruised in the second half, shooting 51 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes.

Djurisic scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.


Follow David Brandt on Twitter: (at)davidbrandtAP

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Georgia (15-16) «314071
Mississippi State (21-11)293261
GA:G. Robinson 23 Pts
GA:N. Djurisic 11 Reb
GA:G. Robinson 5 Ast
MSST:J. Steele 19 Pts
MSST:W. Lewis 9 Reb
MSST:D. Bost 6 Ast

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GeorgiaMississippi State
Gerald Robinson
Jalen Steele
Georgia Bulldogs
G. Robinson, G3710-191-215023
K. Caldwell-Pope, G374-104-562313
N. Djurisic, F293-74-6111411
D. Williams, F195-61-450211
M. Thornton, F180-10-01150
D. Ware, G334-72-212013
J. Florveus, F-C170-10-02000
J. Cannon, C40-00-01000
V. Williams, G30-00-00200
S. Brantley, G30-00-00000
C. Nolte, G-FDid Not Play
M. Bucklin, GDid Not Play
E. Long, G/FDid Not Play
J. Rome, FDid Not Play
T. Dixon, F-CDid Not Play
Totals 26-5112-1928131471
Mississippi State Bulldogs
A. Moultrie, F393-101-38047
D. Bost, G383-132-226410
B. Bryant, G304-63-440211
J. Steele, G286-123-332019
R. Sidney, F191-42-25344
W. Lewis, C212-31-19025
R. Hood, G202-70-02315
D. Smith, G20-00-00000
T. Luczak, FDid Not Play
C. Parker, GDid Not Play
B. Price, GDid Not Play
S. Smith, GDid Not Play
R. Clayton, GDid Not Play
R. Johnson, FDid Not Play
T. Cunningham, GDid Not Play
Totals 21-5512-1533141761
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Texas A&M11-721-1267
Ole Miss11-721-1360
S. Carolina6-1217-1691
Miss. State6-1213-19216
Other games
UConn 55 Final
Syracuse 58
K-State 74 Final
Baylor 82
PSU 58 Final
Indiana 75
GTOWN 70 Final
Cincinnati 72
Boise St 62 Final
Tx A&M 66 Final
Kansas 83
Louisville 84 Final
MU 71
Okla St 70 Final
Missouri 88
S Florida 53 Final
ND 57
Texas 71 Final
Iowa St 65
Wyoming 48 Final