STARKKVILLE, Miss. - Gerald Robinson Jr. scored eight of his 13 points in overtime as Georgia stunned 20th-ranked Mississippi State 70-68 in overtime here Saturday afternoon.
Robinson's two foul shots with 24 seconds left in the extra period gave Georgia a 70-66 lead. After State responded with an Arnett Moultrie dunk with 14 ticks left, Robinson was fouled with just eight seconds left. Though he missed the front end of a 1and-1 free throw, Georgia hindered State's final drive up the court enough to leave guard Dee Bost with a desperation 20-footer at the final horn.
"We are really playing well, and we're playing together - playing complete basketball; I'm truly proud of them," Georgia coach Mark Fox said. "This is a good team we beat. We beat a terriﬁc basketball team, a team we had great respect for before we came here. So, to leave here with a win, it's very gratifying."
Freshman Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led Georgia (12-12, 3-7) with 20 points. None of those was more important than his 3-pointer with 1:08 left in overtime, giving the Bulldogs a 68-66 lead. He was also instrumental in getting Georgia untracked offensively after a cold-shooting start to the game. Caldwell-Pope had 14 of his points in the first half, including four 3-point shots.
The fast pace and wide-open shooting belied the slow start to this game. It took nearly eight minutes for either squad to reach double figures, State getting there first on a 3-pointer by Bost at the 12:42, putting his team in front 12-7. Dustin Ware's jumper at the 9:24 mark got Georgia into double digits at 16-11.
The visiting Bulldogs trailed early but used a barrage of 3-point shots to regroup in the first half. Caldwell-Pope sank three treys and Dustin Ware added another. Caldwell-Pope's putback of another missed 3-pointer from Robinson, however, got Georgia its only brief lead of the half at 29-28.
"State is not a team of great depth," Fox said. "We tried to force them to run the ﬂ oor, and we tried to force them to defend. I don't think that we played beautiful offense, but I think that we played pretty smart and gave ourselves a chance to win."
Bost led all scorers with 21 points. His final bucket of regulation, a driving layup with 1:39 left, was perhaps the biggest score of the game to that juncture. The foul shot that completed his 3-point play gave State (19-6, 6-4) a 58-55 lead.
Georgia responded, however, with a dunk from Donte' Williams, and after one of two foul shots from State's Renardo Sidney, Robinson tied the game at 59 on a driving layup with 28 seconds left.
The Bulldogs hit the road again Wednesday with the first of two games against South Carolina. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.