Iverson Molinar notched a career-high 28 points as Mississippi State toppled Georgia 88-72 in Southeastern Conference action on Wednesday night in Starkville, Miss.
With Georgia leading 36-35 at the half, Mississippi State (11-4, 2-1) strung together a 13-3 stretch in the first seven minutes of the second frame and held a 53-43 edge after the contest’s first serious run.
Shakeel Moore’s trey with 5:47 to play lifted MSU’s lead to 15, and it went on to beat Georgia (5-11, 0-3) for the fifth straight time in the series.
Molinar was 11 of 18 from the field and 5 of 6 from the line. He also matched a career-high with seven assists.
Javian Davis had 12 points and six rebounds, and Cameron Matthews recorded 10 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Andersson Garcia had 10 points for MSU, which shot 53 percent from the field.
Entering the game eighth in the country in rebound margin (+10.1 per game), MSU was outrebounded 37-35 by Georgia but held a 58-28 advantage on points in the paint.
MSU has won the last five games in the series, which is now evened at 58-58.
The squad also improved to 9-1 at home and 34-18 all-time against Georgia in games at Starkville.
Georgia, which entered the game as a 14 ½-point underdog, led a good portion of the contest early but slipped to 0-3 on the road with its fifth consecutive loss.
Kario Oquendo matched a season-high with 28 points — his third straight game scoring at least 20 — and Noah Baumann posted 15 points and five rebounds.
Jabri Abdur-Rahim totaled 13 points and five boards.
Georgia shot 42 percent from the field (23 of 55).
In a tight start to the game, Oquendo and Baumann connected on consecutive 3-pointers as the visitors broke out for a 14-8 lead at the 14:38 mark – their largest lead of the half.
MSU produced just one field goal in a four-minute stretch, and Baumann’s fake of a trey and layup left Georgia with a one-point halftime advantage after nine lead changes and four ties.
-Field Level Media