TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Kodi Augustus scored a career-high 19 points, Jarvis Varnado added 14 points and 12 rebounds and Mississippi State beat Georgia 79-60 Thursday in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Augustus, a backup averaging 5.4 points a game, was 6 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3-point range - a surprising hot streak for a guy who came into the tournament shooting just 22 percent (4 of 18) from behind the arc. He helped Mississippi State (20-12) advance to play South Carolina on Friday.
Coach Rick Stansbury's team also kept alive its chances of making the NCAA tournament. Georgia (12-20) had hoped for another run through the tournament.
The Bulldogs stunned everyone by winning four games in three days in Atlanta last year, claiming an automatic NCAA bid. Terrance Woodbury led Georgia with 14 points and seven rebounds.