ATHENS -- Mark Fox believes it is becoming more difficult to devise a defensive plan against his balanced Georgia team.
Georgia, a strong inside team in December, showed off its 3-point shooting against Mississippi State while also remaining tough on the boards.
Georgia took a big lead with sharp 3-point shooting in the first half, Travis Leslie and Gerald Robinson each scored 17 points and the Bulldogs beat Mississippi State 86-64 on Saturday.
Trey Thompkins had 15 points and seven rebounds for Georgia (14-4, 3-2 Southeastern Conference).
Georgia's strong case for an inside-outside balance: The Bulldogs made 11 of 19 3-pointers and were dominant with their overwhelming 48-23 advantage in rebounds.
"We had some 3s because our inside play was so good in December," Fox said.
Entering the game, Georgia was last in the SEC with its 74 3-pointers for the season.
"When we shoot the ball, we shoot with confidence regardless of how many times we shoot," Thompkins said. "If we're not known for shooting 3s, then hey, we'll take that. We stick with our game plan. We stick with what we do and we are confident in our system."
Georgia also showed good depth.
Freshman Marcus Thornton had seven points and led Georgia with nine rebounds off the bench. Jeremy Price, normally a starter, had 11 points and five rebounds while playing behind Chris Barnes. Sharrard Brantley had 9 points on three 3-pointers.
Dee Bost led Mississippi State (10-8, 2-2) with 20 points, five assists and five steals. Former two-time Herald Player of the Year, Brian Bryant, saw action Saturday for MSU, scoring three points.
Renardo Sidney added 15 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 3:10 remaining. Sidney's eight teammates combined for only 14 rebounds, and no player had more than three.
"Georgia outworked us and out-toughed us from the start," said Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury. "We just didn't compete consistently enough the way you have to when you're on the road in the SEC."
Sidney (6-10, 275) had five turnovers.
Georgia, meanwhile, bounced back from a 59-57 loss to Tennessee.
Alabama 68, Auburn 58:
Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green each scored 15 points and Alabama pulled awa.
The Crimson Tide (12-7, 4-1 SEC) made 15 of 17 free throws over the final 2:14 and clamped down defensively, forcing Auburn to turn it into a foul-line marathon.
The Tigers (7-12, 0-5) went 4:22 without a basket before Earnest Ross hit a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to end a string of seven straight misses.
Alabama, which upset No. 12 Kentucky Tuesday night, has now won seven of its last eight games. The Tide forced 21 turnovers.
Ross led Auburn with 20 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
Virginia 72, Georgia Tech 64:
Mustapha Farrakhan scored 23 points and K.T. Harrell added 17 on Saturday as Virginia beat Georgia Tech to end its three-game losing streak.
The Yellow Jackets (9-9, 2-3), coming off blowout wins over North Carolina and Wake Forest, fell to 0-6 on the road and looked like the team that lost 80-63 at Kennesaw State.
Iman Shumpert led Georgia Tech with 19 points and Brian Oliver had 13. Glen Rice Jr., their second-leading scorer, missed 9 of 11 shots and scored five points -- eight below his average.
Florida State 67, Boston College 51:
Derwin Kitchen's 16 points led a balanced Florida State scoring attack as the Seminoles blew open a close game in the second half and defeated Boston College 67-51 Saturday night.
Four players finished in double figures for the Seminoles (15-5, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who share the league lead with fourth-ranked Duke (18-1, 5-1).
Joe Trapani's 19 points led Boston College (14-6, 4-2), which was held to its lowest scoring total of the season.