The sudden surge in rebounding and defense by Djurisic was no fluke.
“Coach has been giving me a hard time throughout the whole season about rebounding and defense,” Djurisic said. “He’s trying to get me to be better at it. I think it just came from him pushing me, and I’ve been pushing myself. I’ve been working hard because it’s a very important thing. As long as we can play like this and compete, I think we’ll keep winning.”
The Bulldogs held Mississippi State’s two leading scorers, Moultrie and Bost, to seven and 10 points, respectively, and a combined 6-of-23 shooting.
They’ll need a similar effort Friday night against Vanderbilt’s lethal inside-out combination. Guard John Jenkins and forward Jeffery Taylor — rank first and second in scoring in the SEC with 20.1 and 17.1 points per game, respectively. Jenkins scored 28 points on 6-of-8 3-point shooting, and Taylor added 13 when the Commodores defeated Georgia 61-52 late last month in Athens. They also beat the Bulldogs 77-66 on Jan. 14 in Nashville.
“We can’t play them the same way we’ve been playing because it hasn’t worked,” Fox said. “We’ve got to do something different.”
Said Djurisic: “We just have to play the way we played [Thursday]. We need to play determined, and we know we know we can win when we make shots and compete hard. I think that’s the key. When we play as a team and communicate well on the floor I think we can beat anyone.”
Thursday’s win was Georgia’s third in the past four games and the second time this season the Bulldogs (15-16) defeated Mississippi State (21-11, 8-8). The latest loss likely will eliminate Mississippi State from NCAA tournament consideration.
Georgia also had an exceptional offensive game Thursday, shooting 51 percent from the field and 36.8 (7-for-19) from 3-point range. Five Bulldogs players scored in double figures: Gerald Robinson had a game-high 23 points, Dustin Ware and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 13 each and Williams matched Djurisic with 11.