STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Reggie Perry and Tyson Carter combined for 40 points to lead Mississippi State to an easy 91-59 victory over Georgia on Saturday night. It was the largest margin of victory over Georgia in Mississippi State’s program history.
Perry collected 22 points, 12 rebounds and six assists to pace Mississippi State (11-6, 2-3 Southeastern Conference). Perry was 9 of 13 from the field and has scored 20 points or more in four of his last six games. He also notched his 10th double-double this season and 19th for his career.
“Really, they were switching on me and were wanting to play back a little bit,” Perry said. “So I just used my mid-range jumpers. Our rebounding was really important, too, and that’s where we’ve struggled a little bit. … It was about my teammates finding me and trusting me to finish it off. It was all about team ball tonight.”
Carter scored 18 points highlighted by a 4-of-7 shooting beyond the arc. Robert Woodard II added 17 points for Mississippi State while Nick Weatherspoon had 12 points and a career-high eight assists.
“Really excited about how we played tonight, starting with our defense,” Mississippi State coach Ben Howland said. “And Reggie Perry was absolutely unbelievable if you look at his stat line and he played excellent defense. He was in a class by himself out there. Nick (Weatherspoon) had a phenomenal game and Tyson Carter is playing phenomenally right now and I am so proud of him because he works so hard.”
Georgia (11-6, 1-3) was led by Anthony Edwards’ 19 points on just 5-of-16 shooting. Toumani Camara and Rayshaun Hammonds each had 10 points for Georgia.
Georgia never got within 10 points the entire second half. Mississippi State shot 68.8% in the second half and led by as many as 32 points, which was the final margin of victory.
Mississippi State shot a sizzling 61.7% overall from the floor and made 6 of 20 beyond the arc. The Bulldogs were 11 of 16 from the free-throw line and held a commanding 40-11 advantage on the boards. Mississippi State also tied a season-high with 21 assists and had 10 turnovers.
Georgia shot 39.3% for the game and 33.3% in the second half. Georgia was just 3 of 18 on 3-point attempts and made 12 of 16 at the free-throw line, and finished with 10 turnovers.
“There were two big keys for us tonight,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said. “One was rebounding and we didn’t compete on the glass. The second thing was offensive shooting percentages. I told our guys there was going to be a collision tonight and we didn’t compete.”
Mississippi State jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the opening minutes, forcing Georgia to call a timeout at the 17:05 mark of the first half. Georgia continued to chip away at the early deficit and eventually took a 15-14 lead following a Camara layup with 12:52 remaining in the opening half.
Carter drilled a long 3-pointer to cap a 9-2 run by Mississippi State at the 7:48 mark of the first half, giving the host Dogs a 28-21 lead. Mississippi State ended the half on a 10-3 run and held a 42-31 advantage at the break.
Mississippi State shot 56.3% in the opening half but made just 2 of 10 shots beyond the arc. Georgia shot 44.8% from the floor and made 2 of 8 from 3-point territory. Mississippi State held a decisive 20-11 rebounding advantage in the first half and both teams had five turnovers.
“Mississippi State beat us because they turned us over and they did an outstanding job on the glass. They are a hard team to deal with and they have a tremendous coach,” Crean said.
Georgia: Since winning a big road game at Memphis on Jan. 4, Georgia has dropped three of the last four games. The Bulldogs now own a 1-3 mark in conference play with two of the next three games on the road.
Mississippi State: After failing to reach the 70-point mark in their first three SEC outings, the Bulldogs have now scored 72 or more in the last two SEC games.
Georgia: The Bulldogs remain on the road and travel to Kentucky on Tuesday.
Mississippi State: Mississippi State closes out a three-game homestand on Wednesday and play host to Arkansas.
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