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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Georgia at Mississippi St.
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 13, 2016
Where: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Mississippi

Defense has been an issue for Mississippi State during a disappointing season, but the SEC's last-place team hosts Georgia on Saturday after producing its best performance of the season in Tuesday’s 78-46 rout of Arkansas. As senior forward Gavin Ware told reporters after Mississippi State's biggest conference win in 11 years, limiting the Razorbacks to 22.2 percent shooting from the field and only three assists is the type of performance they need more often.

“It was great to have everybody clicking on defense,” said Ware, who finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds. “That led to some very good offense.” Georgia has fared well against the bottom tier of the conference but is just 1-4 versus the five teams sitting ahead of it in the standings - the latest defeat being an ugly 82-48 blowout at No. 21 Kentucky on Tuesday in which it missed 22 consecutive shots at one point en route to a 22-percent shooting night. “It snowballed on us,” Georgia coach Mark Fox told the media, and more disturbing was the team's effort on defense. Georgia entered the game sixth in the nation in opposing field-goal percentage but was blasted by 51.8-percent shooting by the Wildcats.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, SEC Network, ESPN3

ABOUT GEORGIA (13-9, 6-5 SEC): The Bulldogs are 11th in the nation and second in the league in field-goal percentage defense (38.2 percent) and hope Tuesday’s performance at both ends of the court was just one of those nights on which nothing goes well. Yante Maten posted his sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds, but the Bulldogs’ backcourt trio of J.J. Frazier, Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines needs a bounce-back performance Saturday after combining to shoot 5-of-24. The Bulldogs have hit just five 3-pointers in their last two games after making 30 in the previous four contests.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (10-13, 3-8): Ware has played well despite the Bulldogs’ struggles, leading the SEC and ranking 11th nationally in field-goal percentage (62.7 percent) while scoring a team-best 16.4 points per game (seventh in the league). Switching to a man-to-man defense paid big dividends for Mississippi State, and Quinndary Weatherspoon’s 16 points and 10 rebounds also contributed heavily to the Bulldogs’ biggest league triumph since a 90-53 rout of Auburn in 2005. The Bulldogs had allowed 80 or more points seven times in their previous nine contests before Tuesday.

TIP-INS

1. Mann has recorded 366 career assists and is 10 away from tying Ray Harrison for ninth place on Georgia’s all-time list.

2. Mississippi State G Fred Thomas scored his 1,000th career point Tuesday.

3. Maten, who averaged five points and 4.3 rebounds as a freshman last season, has led Georgia in scoring 10 times and in rebounding on 16 occasions this campaign.

PREDICTION: Georgia 72, Mississippi State 64
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Georgia 13-9 L1 12-3 1-6 0-0 3-2 10-7 6-5
Mississippi St. 10-13 W1 7-4 1-7 2-2 5-4 5-9 3-8
Last Meeting
Georgia Mississippi St.
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
1/24/15 UGA 72 MSST 66 72 31 48.9 66 39 33.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Georgia J. Frazier 37 85.7 6
Mississippi St. R. Johnson 25 55.6 5
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Georgia J. Frazier 7 1 6
Mississippi St. G. Ware 12 7 5
Assists Player  
Georgia C. Mann 5
Mississippi St. I. Ready 3
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Georgia J. Frazier 347 41.7 85
Mississippi St. G. Ware 361 62.7 79
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Georgia Y. Maten 176 59 117
Mississippi St. G. Ware 160 66 94
Assists Player  
Georgia J. Frazier 93
Mississippi St. I. Ready 97
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Georgia Off vs  red bar Mississippi St. Defense
blue bar 69.5 Points For
red bar 73.8 Points Against
blue bar 42.5 FG%
red bar 43.2 FG%
blue bar 34.9 Reb
red bar 33.0 Reb
red bar Mississippi St. Off vs  blue bar Georgia Defense
red bar 76.7 Points For
blue bar 68.3 Points Against
red bar 46.6 FG%
blue bar 38.2 FG%
red bar 33.0 Reb
blue bar 32.5 Reb