Kenny Gaines scored 14 points and the host Bulldogs ended the first half on a 29-8 run to win for the seventh time in nine games.

Marcus Thornton added 13 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots for Georgia (17-12, 11-6 SEC), which continued its late-season surge and moved into position to clinch third place in the conference with a victory in Saturday’s regular-season finale at LSU. Charles Mann finished with 10 points and eight assists.

Roquez Johnson and Craig Sword each scored nine points to pace Mississippi State (13-17, 3-14), which lost its 12th in a row. Mississippi State shot 0-for-15 from 3-point range and scored a season low in points.

Mississippi State led 16-8 as Georgia started 2-for-11 from the field, but Brandon Morris’ three-point play with just under seven minutes to play in the opening half put Georgia ahead 20-18. Thornton finished with seven points during the run, Mann added six points and found Gaines on an alley-oop dunk at the halftime buzzer to put Georgia ahead 37-24.

Mississippi State pulled within nine points on back-to-back baskets by Johnson and Sword in the opening three minutes of the second half before Georgia put it away. Thornton’s three-point play pushed the lead to 45-33 while Gaines’ 3-pointer capped a 10-2 spurt to give Georgia a 52-35 advantage with just over 12 minutes remaining.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Georgia allowed a season low in points and outrebounded Mississippi State 38-31, the 14th time in 17 SEC games Georgia has won the battle on the glass. … Mississippi State has lost its past 18 road games and finished conference road play at 0-9, its first winless SEC road slate since 2005-06. … Georgia improved to 14-2 at home, its best home record in 11 seasons.