J.J. Frazier couldn’t have picked a better game to set a career high in scoring. With Kenny Gaines, Charles Mann, Neme Djurisic and Marcus Thornton all turning in sub-par performances, Frazier hoisted the Dawgs up on his little back and carried his team to a 72-66 road victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs, scoring 37 points in the process.
Missy State had multiple chances to tie the game, down 69-66 with 54 seconds left, but the Maroon Dawgs failed to convert, missing a dunk and an open three-point attempt. J.J. came away with the long rebound after the missed three, and he was immediately sent to the free throw line, where he iced the game after knocking down a pair to send the score to 71-66 with only 26 ticks remaining on the clock.
UGA found themselves down early in this one after State opened up a 17-9 lead following a free throw from Craig Sword with 12:21 left before intermission. The Dawgs looked out of sorts offensively from the onset, letting the other Bulldogs’ defensive pressure disrupt their offensive flow.
Frazier helped to settle his team, though, connecting on all three of his three-point attempts before the break, which enabled UGA withstand MSU’s initial punch and take a 36-31 lead into the break.
Georgia looked in total control coming out of the half, opening up a 46-34 advantage with 16:46 remaining in the game. But Missy State wouldn’t go away, keeping the UGA lead in single digits before they finally closed the gap to 63-61 with 3:18 left after a three-pointer from Fred Thomas.
Had it not been for Frazier’s remarkable play, Georgia would not have stood a chance in this one. The Dawgs were outrebounded 42 to 32, and the Maroon Dawgs took 15 more shots from the floor than Mark Fox’s team. Frazier finished 12 of 14 from the floor, and he hit all 7 of his shots from beyond the arc. He also managed to snare 7 rebounds, tying Marcus Thornton for the team-high in rebounds for the game.
While it is frustrating to watch Thornton, Djurisic and Mann all completely tank on the same night, Coach Fox and the UGA fan base have to be satisfied with an SEC road win. Georgia has now won four-straight in conference play, and they are looking more and more like a legitimate contender for the league title.