ATHENS, Ga. -- Marcus Thornton scored 16 points and came up with a huge steal late in the game, helping Georgia rally for its third straight Southeastern Conference win with a 69-64 triumph over Mississippi on Tuesday night.
Georgia (12-5, 3-2) trailed 31-25 at halftime and couldn't hit much of anything with Ole Miss packing the inside with a zone defense. But the Bulldogs found their shooting touch after the break and sealed the victory at the foul line in the final minute.
With Georgia clinging to a 62-60 lead, the Rebels (11-7, 2-3) had the ball with a chance to tie or grab the lead. But Thornton stole it from Stefan Moody and made one of two free throws with 54.5 seconds left. Then, Charles Mann drew a charging foul on Jarvis Summers and the Bulldogs made their final six free throws to ice the victory.
Moody led the Rebels with 26 points, but none of his teammates reached double figures.
Ole Miss was coming off big win at then-No. 19 Arkansas last weekend, routing the Razorbacks 96-82 with five players scoring in double figures. The Rebels didn't come close to matching that offensive showing against Georgia, hitting only 1 of 10 from 3-point range in the second half to finish 4-of-18.
Georgia struggled from the outside, as well, also making just 4 of 18 beyond the arc. But J.J. Frazier swished a couple of big 3s down the stretch and finished with 11 points.
After sitting much of the first half with two fouls, Mann came back to score all 12 of his points after the break. Nemanja Djurisic chipped in with 11.
Coming off a brilliant shooting performance against Florida, in which Georgia hit 56 percent from the field and 8 of 15 from 3-point range, the Bulldogs couldn't do much of anything against the Rebels in the opening half.
Georgia went nearly nine minutes without making a field goal until Cameron Forte hit a layup with 8:13 remaining to cut Ole Miss' lead to 15-12. Moody answered with a 3-pointer for the Rebels, who pushed their lead as high as eight points before settling for the six-point edge at the break. This was the first of two regular-season meetings between the teams. They meet again at Oxford on Feb. 25.
Mississippi: The Rebels finished with a 38-35 lead on the boards. Sebastian Saiz led with 10 rebounds but fouled out with 1:39 remaining. ... Ole Miss came in ranked third in the SEC in 3-point shooting at 36.5 percent.
Georgia: Freshman Yante Mate fouled out with 1:56 to go. He had five points and three rebounds in 18 minutes. ... The Bulldogs hit 14 of 29 shots in the second half after making only 8 of 24 in the opening period.
Mississippi: Hosts Florida on Saturday.
Georgia: Travels to Mississippi State on Saturday.