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Georgia routs Mississippi State 66-45 in SEC hoops

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PAUL NEWBERRY | March 5, 2014 09:08 PM EST | AP


ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Kenny Gaines scored 14 points and Georgia moved closer to locking up a spot in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament, routing Mississippi State 66-45 on Wednesday night.

Georgia (17-12, 11-6 SEC) remained third in the league and still hopes to make a run at the NCAAs, though a middling RPI ranking likely means it would have to win the regular-season finale and at least beat either No. 1 Florida or No. 25 Kentucky at the SEC tournament.

Georgia trailed 16-8 in the early going but took control before the first half was done, leading 37-24 at the break.

Last-place Mississippi State (13-17, 3-14) is closing out another dismal year under second-year coach Rick Ray, who went 10-22 in his debut season. His team shot just 34 percent and had no one in double figures.

Georgia swept the season series, winning the two meetings by a combined 41 points.