Geno sparks Georgia comeback in homecoming

Mississippi State's Roquez Johnson, front, fights for a loose ball with Georgia's Dontae Williams during the first half. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

Mississippi State’s Roquez Johnson, front, fights for a loose ball with Georgia’s Dontae Williams during the first half. (AP Photo/Jim Lytle)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Mississippi State seemed to be well on its way to ending its five-game skid holding a 14-point advantage over Georgia in the first half on Wednesday.

But things quickly went sour as UGA closed the gap and took a one-point lead by halftime. That margin continued to expand in the second half as Georgia claimed a 75-55 victory.

The host Bulldogs began the game on a 10-2 run followed soon after by a 12-0 spurt building a 14-point advantage by the 9:54 mark.

But Georgia ended the half on a 20-5 run sparked by Booneville’s Kenny Paul Geno. The freshman forward sparked the visiting Bulldogs with six points off the bench in that stretch.

The six points was a college career high for the 2013 Daily Journal Player of the Year.

A pair of free throws by Juwan Parker with 1.7 seconds remaining gave Georgia a 28-27 advantage at halftime.

The UGA advantage continued to swell, culminating in a 33-9 run spanning both halves.

Charles Mann led Georgia (13-10, 7-4) with 19 points and Juwan Parker added 16 points.

Craig Sword was the only State player in double figures with 10 points on 3 of 11 shooting. Mississippi State was 3 of 25 from 3-point range.

Geno’s homecoming

Geno logged 14 minutes for Georgia.

The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder was 3 of 5 shooting and also added two rebounds. His previous scoring high was four points in 10 minutes against Chattanooga on Dec. 2.

Geno entered the game averaging 0.9 points and 3.5 minutes a game.

UGA shot 73.9 percent in the second half and 54.3 percent for the game.

Mississippi State (13-11, 3-8) visits Auburn on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com