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Updated: Saturday, January 24, 2004 4:36 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(20) Mississippi St 71, Georgia 58

STARKVILLE, Mississippi (Ticker) -- Winsome Frazier and Mississippi State quickly turned this Southeastern Conference battle of the Bulldogs into a mismatch.

Frazier's hot early shooting sparked No. 20 Mississippi State to a quick start en route to a 71-58 victory over Georgia.

Mississippi State (16-1, 5-1 SEC West) scored the game's first 19 points en route its third straight victory. Frazier scored eight points in the run, including a 3-pointer at the 12:54 mark for the 19-0 cushion.

"We were as good as we could be both offensively and defensively in the first eight minutes," Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said. "As a coach, you wished it could be that way for all 40 minutes."

Georgia (9-7, 1-4 East) missed its first 10 shots, digging a hole it was unable to recover from. Damien Wilkins' three-point play just over eight minutes into the contest finally got Georgia on the board.

"We had a tremendous start," Mississippi State guard Timmy Bowers said. "We needed to set the tone defensively. I challenged our guys to step up and encouraged everyone to play well."

Lawrence Roberts netted 17 points to lead Mississippi State and Bowers chipped in 15 and a career-high nine assists. It marked Mississippi State's third straight double-digit victory.

Mississippi State got sloppy with the big lead, settling for a 33-22 lead at the break. It committed 19 turnovers, allowing Georgia to make a slight run in the second half, but it only got as close as eight points.

"Every time we got it within eight points, they answered back," Georgia coach Dennis Felton said. "They are clearly the most talented team we have played."

Roberts battled early foul trouble to make 6-of-9 shots to pace the offense. Branden Vincent helped pick up the slack on the glass with 10 rebounds as Mississippi State held a 40-30 edge on the boards to end a three-game skid against Georgia.

"Before the game, we were pumped up," Mississippi State freshman guard Gary Ervin said. "The older guys talked about having not beat Georgia since being here."

Wilkins scored 17 points but Rashad Wright struggled to make 3-of-14 shots for 11 for Georgia, which shot 34 percent (20-of-59). It was 6-of-18 from the arc.

Mississippi State is 5-1 in SEC play for the first time since the 1993-94 season.


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