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Mississippi State men’s basketball beats Georgia 88-72 with big second half

Bulldogs improve to 11-4.

Austin Perryman/MSU Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Trailing by one point at halftime, the Mississippi State men’s basketball team outscored Georgia 53-36 in the second half en route to an 88-72 win Wednesday night inside Humphrey Coliseum.

With the win, MSU improves to 11-4 (3-1 SEC), while Georgia drops its fifth consecutive game and falls to 5-11 (0-3 SEC).

Junior guard Iverson Molinar scored a career-high 28 points and dished out a team-high seven assists to lead MSU. Redshirt junior forward Javian Davis produced 12 points off the bench to go with a team-high six rebounds and three blocks. Sophomore forwards Cameron Matthews and Andersson Garcia added 10 points each. Graduate forward Garrison Brooks had four of MSU’s 10 blocks.

MSU shot 37-for-70 (52.9%), including 60% in the second half. The Marron and White managed to score a season-high 58 points in the paint despite not having redshirt junior forward Tolu Smith in the lineup.

Georgia shot 23-for-55 (41.8%), including 6-for-20 (30%) on 3s. The black and red Bulldogs made 20 of their 25 (80%) free throws.

Georgia was led by sophomore guard Kario Oquendo with a career-high 28 points to go with six rebounds and two steals, while redshirt senior guard Noah Baumann and sophomore guard Jabri Abdur-Rahim added 15 points and 13 points, respectively.

The first half saw nine lead changes and four ties. A pair of quick 3s by Oquendo and Baumann built a 14-8 lead for Georgia with 14:38 left in the first half. MSU then took a 21-20 lead with 8:36 left.

Baumann’s layup with nine seconds left gave Georgia a 36-35 lead at the halftime break.

In the second half, MSU built a 10-point lead at 53-43 with 13:17 left to play. Georgia responded by cutting MSU’s lead to three thanks to seven consecutive points by Abdur-Rahim.

The Maroon and White responded with a 17-5 run capped off by sophomore guard Shakeel Moore’s 3-pointer to go up by 15 at 72-57 with 5:47 to play. Molinar then scored six straight points to push MSU’s lead to 19 at 81-60.

MSU’s largest lead was 86-66 before going on to win 88-72. MSU will return to action Saturday when it hosts No. 24 Alabama at 5 p.m. CT on SEC Network.