2/11/2012 7:56:26 AM
Georgia comes in with an overall record of 11-12, and the team's 2-7
conference mark has it just a game above last-place South Carolina in the SEC
standings. The Bulldogs did manage to put one in the win column the last time
out, as they whipped visiting Arkansas in an 81-59 final on Wednesday night.
Georgia is just 1-6 in true road games this season, and the team has lost its
last four trips away from Athens.
Mississippi State comes into the weekend sporting an impressive 19-5 mark, and
the team has won six of its first nine league bouts. As a result, the Bulldogs
are ranked 20th in the most recent AP poll, and they'll be hoping to improve
upon their near-perfect 14-1 home mark with a win today. MSU has won its last
two games, the most recent being a 70-60 decision at home over bitter rival
Ole Miss, and coach Rick Stansbury's squad has won four of its last five bouts
Mississippi State owns a narrow 52-50 lead in the all-time series with
Georgia, but it was the latter that won the last encounter, shooting the
lights out in claiming an 86-64 triumph on January 22, 2011 in Athens.
Gerald Robinson went off in Georgia's recent rout of Arkansas, as he hit 10-
of-13 field goal attempts in scoring a career-high 27 points. He also added
six rebounds and five assists to his stat line, and the Bulldogs wound up
shooting 52.6 percent from the floor and putting another three players in
double figures. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope drained three of the team's nine
three-pointers on the night as he added 18 points, Nemanja Djurisic
contributed 14 points off the bench, and Marcus Thornton chipped in 10 points
for a Georgia team that not only performed at the offensive end, but dialed up
the defense as well in limiting the Razorbacks to 36.7 percent field goal
efficiency, all while easily winning the rebounding battle, 44-21. Caldwell-
Pope and Robinson are the team's only double-digit scorers on the season, and
only a tenth of a point separates them at the moment (14.2 to 14.1 ppg). The
last game not withstanding, the 'Dawgs have struggled to find their stroke
this year, shooting just 39.4 percent from the field, while defensively
allowing the opposition to net 63.0 ppg on 42.0 percent field goal efficiency.
Arnett Moultrie was his usual productive self in Mississippi State's recent
win over Ole Miss, as the junior forward scored 18 points and grabbed nine
rebounds in playing a game-high 37 minutes. Moultrie wasn't alone in his
pursuit of excellence, as point guard Dee Bost logged a double-double
consisting of 15 points and 13 assists, Renardo Sidney added 14 points and
seven boards, and Rodney Hood finished with 10 points and six rebounds. The
Bulldogs won the battle on the boards, 38-33, and hit nine three-pointers to
only three for the Rebels. Moultrie is one of a handful of players averaging a
double-double this late in the season, as he accounts for 17.0 points and 11.0
caroms per contest, while Bost (15.8 ppg, 5.1 apg), Hood (11.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
and Sidney (10.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) have all been consistent contributors as well.
As a team, MSU is scoring a healthy 73.7 ppg in hitting 46.5 percent of its
total shots and 36.8 percent of its long-range launches, while at the other
end allowing foes to net 66.4 ppg behind typical shooting outputs of 43.0
percent overall and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc. The team is +3.9 in
rebounding margin, but -0.6 in turnover differential.