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February 12, 2014
Mississippi State Blown Away in the Second Half in 20-point Loss
After a hot start to the game in which Mississippi State led 22-8, MSU gave up 74% shooting in the second half and were blown away by Georgia, 75-55. It was the sixth-straight loss for MSU after losing 13-straight a year ago.
"I think it just boiled down to two things; they were shooting 74% in the second half, and you are not going to beat anyone shooting 74% in the second half," Rick Ray said. "On top of that we have not shot exceptional as a team. We shot 3-of-25 from the three point line. We just cannot be a team that takes 25 three pointers."
State started the game well with a quick 10-2 spurt as UGA couldn't hit a shot in the early going. MSU would take that lead out to 14 after Tyson Cunningham hit a three and a free throw after a foul, scored a layup and Fred Thomas hit another three to push the lead to 22-8.
The Georgia Dawgs then started to get defensive stops and offensive scores on the other end to cut into the lead. As MSU continued to miss, Georgia drew the game to a one point game and then hit two free throws to end the half with their first lead since 2-1. Georgia held the 28-27 advantage at the half.
The telling stat in the first half was that MSU missed free throws down the stretch and were just 6-13 total while Georgia hit 11-13.
The second half got increasingly worse for State. While they were missing shots and more free throws, Georgia was knocking theirs down. UGA pushed their lead into double digits and all the way out to 14 at 49-35 with 13 minutes left. It would be a lead that would bury the Starkville Bulldogs for good as they never drew closer than 12.
After State got that lead down to 12, Georgia would push it out to the largest of the game at 22 with 3:46 remaining with a 71-49 advantage. MSU had given up long before that. UGA would cruise to a comfortable 75-55 victory in quite possibly the worst loss of the season for MSU.
State was led by Craig Sword who was the only MSU player in double figures with 10. Thomas led the way in rebounds with six.
MSU lost the rebounding battle 38-30 and shot 3-25 from three-point range and 20-59 from the field. Georgia hit 74% of their shots in the second half and 54% for the game. State was also unable to capitalize off the free-throw line hitting just 12-23 of their foul shots.
"You just have to stay positive or it will just get worse from here," Ready said of the skid. "We have to try to stay positive and try to stay together. If everybody goes their separate ways, then we will continue to get disappointing results. Hopefully if we stay together our next game, then maybe that will give us our confidence for the rest of the season."
The Bulldogs now try to snap their skid by heading to the road. They'll start at Auburn on Saturday for a 12:30 tip on the plains and go to LSU next Wednesday.
Mississippi State NEWS