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Dogs lose another close one
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STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State never quit believing.

Dee Bost and Phil Turner each scored 15 points to lead Mississippi State to a 72-69 victory over Georgia on Saturday after overcoming multiple double-digit deficits and trailing for most of the game.

Mississippi State (15-3, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) trailed 64-51 late in the second half before going on a 16-3 run to retake the lead 68-67.

“You can’t ever quit believing,” Stansbury said. “Against most teams you’re dead in the water and people are starting to go home. But that’s how game is, things can change quickly. We know we’re capable of making 3-point shots. I wasn’t so happy I was turning flips or anything, but with four minutes left, I never didn’t believe we had a chance.”

Bost hit a running jumper in the lane with 39 seconds left to give Mississippi State a 72-69 edge.

Barry Stewart blocked Ricky McPhees game-tying 3-point attempt with 10 seconds remaining, and a similar shot by Dustin Ware was no good at the buzzer.

“That play got magnified because it was at end of the game,” Stansbury said, “but for the other 38 minutes Barry was in the game, McPhee wasn’t a factor either.”

Georgia (8-8, 0-3) shot 42.9 percent from the field (30-of-70), but didn’t score a field goal in the last 2:29. Georgia was 2-for-14 from beyond the arc and led 41-30 at halftime.

“We made some critical errors, and they capitalized on them,” Georgia coach Mark Fox said. “It was a game we could have won and probably a game that we should have won. And I’m not very happy about it.”

Mississippi State had already overcome a 13-point first deficit with a 17-6 run to open the second half. But after tying the game 47-47, MSU turned the ball over on its next two possessions to spark a 17-4 run by Georgia that put them again in a double-digit hole.

“Luckily we were at home,” Bost said. “On the road, you might not can come back again like that. When we came back the first time, we made some questionable shots, and we had to fix some things and just keep working.”

With Mississippi State trailing big, Stansbury switched to a full court press to disrupt the Georgia offense — something his team seldom runs.

“It sure aint something we work on every day,” Stansbury said. “We aint no great pressing team, but we hit them with it at the right time, and it clearly caused theo some problems.”

Stansbury placed Turner, a former starter who often provides a spark off the bench, was at the forefront of the attack. Turner stole the ball on the Georgia’s next two possessions and fueled MSUs late-game push.

“I may not have been the only one on the team that was happy about the press, but I guarantee you I was the happiest,” Turner said. “That’s how I like to play. Run, jump and go get steals. That’s how I like to play basketball. I feel like that’s why I’m on this team.”

Jarvis Varnado had 14 points, 14 rebounds, and six for Mississippi State. Stewart chipped in 10 on 3 of 5 shooting.

Georgia’s Trey Thompkins had a game-high 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting. Travis Leslie added 14 points and Albert Jackson chipped in 11.
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