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    Wednesday Men's Hoops Scoreboard

    Mississippi State 76, LSU 71
    South Carolina 56, Alabama 54
    Arkansas 56, Auburn 53

    No. 18 Mississippi State beats LSU 76-71

    STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Arnett Moultrie scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season and No. 18 Mississippi State held off a late LSU charge to win 76-71 on Wednesday night.

    Moultrie had 19 points in the second half as the Bulldogs built on a 32-31 halftime lead. The 6-foot-11 junior made 10 of 18 shots from the field and grabbed six offensive rebounds.

    Jalen Steele scored 15 points -- hitting 3 of 4 from 3-point range -- and Rodney Hood added 13 for Mississippi State (17-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference), which outrebounded LSU 46-26. Dee Bost had nine points and 10 assists.

    Andre Stringer led the Tigers (12-8, 2-4) with 17 points off the bench. Anthony Hickey scored 16 and Justin Hamilton added 11.

    Mississippi State led by as many as 12 points in the second half and appeared to have the game in hand after taking a 68-59 lead with 1:50 remaining. But then LSU went on a stunning run from 3-point range.

    Hickey drilled back-to-back jumpers from long range to pull LSU within 68-65 with 54 seconds remaining. Ralston Turner hit another 3 to make it 70-68 and Hickey hit another to pull to 72-71 with 15 seconds left.

    The only thing that saved the Bulldogs was a 6-for-6 performance at the free throw line during LSU's run.

    Steele scored a team-high 10 points in the first half as Mississippi State took a 32-31 lead at halftime.

    LSU scored first after the break on Hamilton's layup, but the Bulldogs scored the next 11 points to take a 43-33 lead.

    LSU is one of the few teams in the SEC that appeared to have the size to match up against the Bulldogs, especially since 6-9 freshman Johnny O'Bryant played for the first time in five games after breaking a bone in his non-shooting (left) hand. O'Bryant played with a wrap on the hand, scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds.

    But nobody could stop Moultrie, who scored on his usual array of alley-oops, putbacks and post moves. He leads the SEC in double-doubles and rebounding, averaging more than 11 per game.

    LSU has lost four of its past five games.

    Stringer was banished to the bench for just the second time this season after a poor performance over the weekend against Florida, but he responded with one of his better games of the season, scoring 17 points in 25 minutes.

    The 5-9 point guard from nearby Jackson single-handedly kept the Tigers close in the second half, scoring eight straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers, to shrink an 11-point deficit to 49-46 with just over 10 minutes remaining.


    Ellington's bucket gives South Carolina 56-54 win

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Bruce Ellington's driving basket with 1.4 seconds left lifted South Carolina to its first Southeastern Conference victory this season, a 56-54 win over Alabama on Wednesday night.

    Ellington dribbled down the lane, split defenders Levi Randolph and JaMychal Green to bank in the game-winner for South Carolina (9-10, 1-4 SEC).

    Green caught the inbounds pass on Alabama's final possession, but his turnaround jumper was short. The Crimson Tide (13-7, 2-4) lost their fourth straight game.

    Malik Cooke led South Carolina with 18 points and Ellington and Damontre Harris had 12 apiece. The Gamecocks won despite shooting 32.4 percent (22 of 68) for the game and an abysmal 5 of 31 from behind the arc.

    Green was held to 6 points, eight fewer than his team-leading average. Randolph led Alabama with 12 points.

    The game looked like it belonged on the football field -- both national champion Alabama and 11-win South Carolina finished in the top five nationally in defense -- and both teams struggled to score down the stretch.

    The Gamecocks, though, did just enough to keep in front. Harris had a tiebreaking jam with 3:46 to go for a 52-50 lead before Randolph's bucket re-tied it.

    Anthony Gill put South Carolina ahead on his tip-in of Ellington's miss before Randolph again knotted the game at 54-all on Alabama's next trip down.

    The Crimson Tide had a chance to go ahead after Gill missed from about 10 feet, but Ellington tipped the ball away to Cooke to set up the final dramatic moments.

    Alabama. fouled Ellington twice in the last seconds before the South Carolina sophomore took the inbounds pass and connected on the winning shot.

    Green left the game with 15:42 to go, hopping to the bench with his left leg in the air after he was called for traveling. Green spent several minutes having his left ankle heavily taped on the bench before putting his sneaker back on and heading to Alabama's locker room. He came out a short time later and re-entered the game.

    This was a matchup of two teams desperate for victory. The Crimson Tide had opened 7-0 in November and spent much of the season's first few weeks in the top 25 before sliding in December and January. Alabama had lost its last three games to Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, spoiling a 2-0 start in SEC play.

    Things were even worse for South Carolina, which came in 0-4 in the SEC for the first time in 13 years and had struggled to put two halves together since starting league play. The Gamecocks outscored Kentucky in the second half of a 79-64 loss and hung with Vanderbilt the final 20 minutes of a 67-57 defeat. They led Florida and Auburn at halftime of their last two games, falling apart in the second half in both losses.

    Alabama appeared ready to run past the slow-starting Gamecocks early as Jacobs had a three-point play and Mitchell a powerful jam less than a minute in. Green blocked shots by Gill three straight times on one possession as the Crimson Tide controlled the inside.

    Still, Alabama could not pull away. Randolph hit two 3-pointers in the final four minutes of the first half and Andrew Steele had a pair of foul shots with 17 seconds left that gave the Crimson Tide a 29-27 lead at the break.


    Men’s basketball wins over Auburn 56-53

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind a combined 18 second-half points from junior Julysses Nobles and sophomore Rickey Scott, the University of Arkansas men’s basketball team shook off a slow start to defeat Auburn, 56-53, in Southeastern Conference action Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.
    The Razorbacks improve to 15-5 overall with a 3-2 SEC record, while Auburn drops to 12-8, 2-4 in the league. Arkansas pushed its record to 15-0 at home, tying the second-longest home winning streak to start a season in school history.
    “I’m happy with the win,” said Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson. “That game was a grinder. There are all kinds of ways to win a game.”
    After trailing for much of the night, the Razorbacks got scoring in bunches from Nobles and Scott, and took a 42-39 lead on a Scott three-pointer with 8:53 left. The Tigers cut the lead to 52-51 with 2:32 to play, but freshman BJ Young hit a jumper from the top of the key to give the Razorbacks a 54-51 lead. Less than two minutes later, Young got free for a fast-break dunk to push the lead to five, 56-51, with 20 seconds left. Auburn came within three and had a chance at a game-tying three at the buzzer, but the Razorbacks got the stop to hold on for the win.
    Arkansas forced 21 Tiger turnovers and had 13 steals, including five by Nobles alone, a total that matched his career high. The Razorbacks needed a strong defensive effort to shake off their coldest first half of the season, but held Auburn to 37.5 percent shooting to trail by just three at the half.
    “Our saving grace tonight was our defense,” Anderson said. “You’ll have some off nights on offense, but defense can always be there.”
    In the opening moments of the second half, Nobles helped the Razorbacks quickly forget their first half rust. The junior hit back-to-back three-pointers in the first two minutes, energizing the crowd and establishing an offensive rhythm for his team.
    Half way through the second period, Scott took over the offensive reigns. He scored eight straight points in a two-minute stretch to push Arkansas ahead 47-43 with 6:53 remaining, giving the Razorbacks a lead they would not surrender.
    Freshman Hunter Mickelson had three blocks for Arkansas, and came up with a key steal with 3:19 to play that led to a Nobles jumper and pushed a two-point lead to four, 52-48. Young led the team with 11 points, and also had four assists, four rebounds and three steals.
    “I was happy to see our young guys make plays down the stretch,” Anderson said.
    Nobles proved to be Arkansas’ floor leader all night, finishing with ten points, five rebounds, four assists and five steals while leading the team with 33 minutes played. Scott tallied eight points, all coming down the stretch. Both players scored all their points in the second half.