ATHENS, Ga. — Jeremy Price scored 20 points, including eight straight late in the game, and Georgia recovered to beat Mississippi Valley State 72-70 on Friday night in the season opener for each team.
Georgia trailed 66-59 before Price closed the gap with back-to-back three-point plays. Price added another basket with 2:24 remaining to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the second half, 67-66.
Darian Donald answered with a jumper for the Delta Devils before a free throw by Georgia's Gerald Robinson Jr. tied the game at 68-all.
Travis Leslie had 16 points, including a basket with 51 seconds left to give Georgia a 70-68 lead.
D'Angelo Jackson led Mississippi Valley State with 16 points before fouling out. Kevin Burwell had 12.
A free throw by Gerald Robinson Jr., who had 19 points, pushed Georgia's lead to 71-68. Orlando Smith made two free throws for Mississippi Valley State with 10 seconds left, leaving Georgia with a 71-70 lead.
Dustin Ware made only one of two free throws for Georgia with 8.9 seconds left to leave an opening for Mississippi Valley State, but Burwell missed a last-second shot for the Delta Devils.
Georgia avoided its first loss in nine tries to a Southwestern Athletic Conference team.
Mississippi Valley State, in its third season under coach Sean Woods, the former Kentucky player, was 9-23 last season and eighth in the SWAC.
Georgia returns four starters from a 14-17 team, but was without forward Trey Thompkins, the team's top scorer. Thompkins is out indefinitely as he recovers from a right high ankle sprain.
Two transfers, Robinson and forward Connor Nolte, made their first starts for Georgia. Robinson played two years at Tennessee State.
The Delta Devils made 7 of 10 3-point shots in the first half and led 37-36 at halftime. Mississippi Valley State's bench outscored Georgia's backups 19-1 in the opening 20 minutes.
There were three ties in the first four minutes of the second half before the Delta Devils pulled away again to lead 56-49.
For the game, the Delta Devils made 10 of 17 3-pointers.