Georgia preview

I.J. Ready is averaging 14.3 points over his last four games for the Bulldogs. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

I.J. Ready is averaging 14.3 points over his last four games for the Bulldogs. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

What a difference a week has made for Mississippi State.

A week ago the Bulldogs were in the midst of a 16-game SEC regular season losing streak as well as a 22-game road skid.

Both have been erased in the last seven days as MSU downed Vanderbilt 57-54 at home last Saturday and then knocked off Auburn 78-71 on the road Wednesday.

The Bulldogs will try and make it three straight today hosting Georgia. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.

It is the first time State (9-9, 2-3) has won back-to-back games since late November. During its win over Auburn, Mississippi State strung together a pair of 12-0 runs to claim its first road win since Jan. 12, 2013 against Georgia.

“We talked about how important it is to do your assignment and that’s the most important thing,” said MSU coach Rick Ray. “Every little thing matters so we reminded our guys of that and it got them to calm down a little bit and went from there. It was a good win for our guys. I thought our guys did a really good job of hanging in there.”

Point guard I.J. Ready tied a career-high with 18 points against Auburn while forward Gavin Ware set a personal rebounding benchmark with 17 boards.

Guard Fred Thomas remains State’s top scorer with 10.4 points off the bench followed closely by forward Roquez Johnson averaging 10.2 points.

Georgia enters this afternoon’s outing at 3-2 in the conference and 12-5 overall. Mark Fox‘s squad is on a three-game winning streak having won at Vanderbilt 70-67 and two home outings against Florida 73-61 and Ole Miss 69-64.

UGA has four starters averaging in double figures led by senior forward Marcus Thornton, who tops the team in points (14.1) and rebounds (7.4). Thornton has registered four double-doubles on the year.

Georgia has won five of the last six meetings against MSU and now holds a 54-53 edge in the series.

UGA claimed a 75-55 victory during its trip to Starkville last season and followed up with a 66-45 win in Athens. Guard Charles Mann, who is now a junior, scored 29 points last year against State.

Craig Sword was the only Mississippi State player to reach double figures against Georgia last season. Sword scored 10 points before fouling out during the Feb. 12 meeting in Starkville.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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