DULUTH — Mississippi State pulled ahead with a 14-4 second-half run and beat No. 22 Georgia 67-52 on Friday night to move closer to its first Southeastern Conference tournament title.
Alexis Rack had 14 points to lead five players in double figures for Mississippi State (19-11), which will play No. 19 Kentucky in Saturday night's second semifinal game. No. 4 Tennessee will face Vanderbilt in the first semifinal.
Mississippi State has advanced to only one SEC tournament championship game, falling to Tennessee in the 2000 final.
Georgia (23-8) was the second straight ranked team to fall in the tournament, following Vanderbilt's win over No. 21 LSU earlier on Friday.
Mary Kathryn Govero had 13 points, Armelie Lumanu and Tysheka Grimes each had 12 and Chanel Mokango added 11 for Mississippi State.
Meredith Mitchell led Georgia with 15 points. Jasmine James had 10 points while making only 4 of 17 shots from the field. Ashley Houts made only 3 of 12 shots for 9 points.
Mississippi State's No. 3 seed is its highest in the tournament's history. It is in the semifinals for the first time since 2003, when it lost to Tennessee.
Georgia has won four SEC tournaments but none since 2001. It suffered its second straight second-round loss.
Grimes was called for her fourth foul with 13:55 remaining, less than a minute after her 3-pointer gave her team its first lead of the second half, 33-32. Grimes had 11 points — the high total for either team — when she left the game.
With Grimes on the bench, Mississippi State briefly lost the lead on a basket by Georgia freshman Jasmine Hassell. Mississippi State then took control by making three 3-pointers in a 17-4 run for a 50-38 lead.
Both teams struggled with poor shooting in the first half. Georgia led 26-23 at the break despite making only 31 percent of its shots (9 of 29) from the field. Mississippi State was even worse at 25 percent (9 of 36).
Lumanu left the game with an apparent injury to her left leg with 1:14 remaining.