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Georgia Basketball

Georgia falls to Mississippi State, drop first game of season

December 30, 2020

Georgia was brought back down to Earth on Wednesday night after starting their season 7-0.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-3, 1-0) defeated the Georgia Bulldogs (7-1, 0-1) by a score of 83-73 in Stegeman Coliseum. 

Not a lot of people predicted that the Georgia Bulldogs would kick off their season by winning their first seven games, especially not without Anthony Edwards. Wednesday was a night where they could have used his stardom or a second half like he had against Michigan State last season. 

The story so far has been that Georgia is beating teams that they are supposed to. Their level of competition hasn’t exactly been very strong. Georgia’s most impressive win came against Cincinnati on Dec. 19, but the Bearcats are not quite as good this season as they have been in years past. 

So, the question was posed: how will Georgia fare against tougher competition in the SEC? The answer is that they simply did not play good enough to beat Mississippi State. 

Mississippi State jumped out to a 15-7 lead in the first seven minutes. Georgia has been inconsistent at the beginnings of games this season. They seemingly get off to a hot start, or they can’t find a shot. 

The latter is what the Bulldogs of Georgia endured in the first half tonight, and that ultimately degraded their chance in this game. Georgia was able to outscore northeastern 44-13 in the second half of their last match up after starting off slow.. Mississippi State is not Northeastern- they are a big and physical SEC team.

Georgia is not a big team and some disadvantages haunt them because of it. 

“They’re physicality is unlike anything we’ve seen,” Georgia head coach Tom Crean said ahead of the game. 

Georgia’s struggles put them at a 41-27 halftime deficit. Their two most productive players, Sahvir Wheeler and Toumani Camara, combined for just two points and made only 1-of-16 shots from the field. Wheeler did not score until there was 6:08 left in the game. 

“I told the team after the game, ‘We played like we were on the road,’” Crean said.

Mississippi State maintained a steady second half lead, and held off a late push from Georgia. Georgia was able to make it a single-digit game with 1:05 left in the game, but it was not enough. 

Georgia was 9/38 from the field, 3/15 from three and 6/11 from the free-throw line in the first half. Those are all very poor numbers and Mississippi State simply outscored them early on. Basketball games are difficult to win when shots are not falling. 

Geargia was led by P.J. Horne’s 21 points. Mississippi State’s guards Iverson Molinar and D.J. Stewart put up 24 and 18 points, respectively. Mississippi State just had more size and star power than Georgia, and there was never really a moment of doubt about what the outcome was going to be during the game. 

“Everybody better be ready to go 100% in practice tomorrow, because we have to get better,” Crean said. 

Crean was visibly frustrated after the game at the lack of consistency on offense and added that the offensive struggles heavily impacted Georgia’s performance on defense. 

Georgia’a undefeated streak is over. They were in the midst of their best start since 1982-83. That squad made it all the way to the Final Four. 

Georgia will now get six days of rest before traveling to face an LSU team that boasts two of the top-five scorers in the SEC. On Tuesday night, LSU handled Texas A&M 77-54- a game where freshman guard Cameron Thomas dropped 32 points. Georgia’s first road test is shaping up to be an offensive battle in Baton Rouge, and they will look to get off the a better start against the Tigers. 


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