Georgia-Mississippi St. Preview
With one more victory, Mississippi State will tie its longest winning streak ever at Humphrey Coliseum. That’s bad news for a Georgia squad that hasn’t won in Starkville in 10 years.
The 20th-ranked Bulldogs will try to continue their nearly unbeatable form at home when they meet Georgia on Saturday.
Mississippi State (19-5, 6-3 SEC) beat rival Mississippi 70-60 on Thursday night, extending its winning streak at Humphrey Coliseum to 13 games. A victory over Georgia (11-12, 2-7) would tie the record of 14 straight wins there, set between 2003 and 2004. The Bulldogs improved to 14-1 at home and moved into a tie for third place in the conference.
“This time of year, you’ve got to get at that level,” said coach Rick Stansbury, whose team plays four of its next five on the road following Saturday’s contest. “It’s tough to play at that level for 30 games, but at this time of year, you’re talking about seven games.
“Georgia counts just as much as Ole Miss. This is a great example of the passion we need to have playing down the stretch.”
Senior Dee Bost had a career-high 13 assists, the most by an SEC player this season and sixth-best total in school history, as Mississippi State put Thursday’s game away early.
“I had a stretch of four or five games where I really didn’t shoot the ball well, but I feel like I came out tonight and had a good shot selection,” Bost said. “When I do that, we win. I’m just trying to be a point guard and get everybody else involved.”
The Bulldogs got 18 points and nine rebounds from Arnett Moultrie, including four dunks off assists from Bost. Moultrie – a transfer from UTEP – has averaged 17.0 points on 56.0 percent shooting in his first year with Mississippi State. He went over the 1,000-point plateau for his career Thursday.
“I don’t know how I was so open,” said Moultrie, who leads the SEC with 11.0 rebounds per game and 13 double-doubles. “I was surprising myself sometimes.”
Georgia won 86-64 at home over Mississippi State last season but has lost eight of 11 in the series, including four in a row in Starkville since an 86-68 win Feb. 6, 2002.
Georgia has struggled on the road this season, going 1-6, and is also 0-4 against ranked opponents.
It does come in with a bit of confidence, though, having beaten Arkansas 81-59 at home Wednesday to end a four-game skid and win for the second time in nine contests.
Gerald Robinson scored a career-high 27 points and added six rebounds and five assists.
“We were determined to get a win,” said Robinson, who was 10 for 13 from the field. “We needed it bad.”
The Bulldogs moved out of last place in the SEC.
“That’s as well as we’ve played maybe all year, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” coach Mark Fox said. “I felt like we were starting to get some confidence in what we’re doing.”
Georgia has lost eight of nine on the road and is 9-31 away from home since the start of the 2008-09 season.