February 14, 2017 10:47:05 PM
By CHARLES ODUM
The Associated Press
ATHENS, Ga. -- Yante Maten scored 24 points in his return to high-scoring form and Georgia pulled away with a 12-3 run late in the game to beat Mississippi State 79-72 on Tuesday night.
A 3-pointer by Mississippi State's Xavian Stapleton with 6:29 remaining tied the game at 54-all. Georgia answered eight straight points, including a jam and two free throws by Maten, to start the 12-3 run.
J.J. Frazier had 17 points, all in the second half, for Georgia (15-11, 6-7 Southeastern Conference). Georgia has won two straight following three straight losses to ranked teams.
Quinndary Weatherspoon, Lamar Peters and Mario Kegler each had 14 points for Mississippi State (14-11, 5-8), which has lost three straight and five of six.
Maten, third in SEC with 19.2 points per game, scored only seven points before fouling out in a season-low 17 minutes in Saturday's 76-75 win at Tennessee. He didn't pick up his first foul against Mississippi State until almost five minutes into the second half.
Frazier sank three 3-pointers in the second half.
Frazier missed his first six shots before his fast-break 3-pointer gave Georgia a 40-35 lead. Frazier, a 3-point specialist who had a season-high 29 points against Tennessee, had difficulty finding open shots early as Peters and I.J. Ready followed Frazier's every move with their tight defense.
Each team started slowly. Mississippi State made only 3 of its first 13 shots -- but each good attempt was a 3-pointer. Georgia had a 1-for-12 shooting slump later in the half as the visiting Bulldogs found their range.
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