No. 14 Florida beats No. 18 Mississippi St 69-57
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|men's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Florida 69, Mississippi State 57
|Alabama 72, Arkansas 66
|Vanderbilt 84, Middle Tennessee 77
|Kentucky 74, LSU 50
|Tennessee 64, Auburn 49
|Ole Miss 66, South Carolina 62
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Bradley Beal scored 19 points, Patric Young made several crowd-rousing plays and No. 14 Florida beat No. 18 Mississippi State 69-57 Saturday, extending its home winning streak to 17 games.
The Gators (17-4, 5-1 Southeastern Conference) used an 11-0 run in the second half -- sparked by Beal's third 3-pointer and highlighted by Young's two dunks -- to turn a tight game into a double-digit affair.
Mississippi State (17-5, 4-3) trailed 62-47 after the spurt and never got the lead to single digits. The Gators made enough plays down the stretch to secure their second win in six games against the Bulldogs.
Young, still battling tendinitis in his right ankle, finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Erik Murphy added 14 points thanks mostly to 4-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Erving Walker chipped in 10, including a 3 with 10 seconds remaining.
Florida's leading scorer, Kenny Boynton, struggled from the field against Dee Bost and had two points. Boynton was 1-for-6 shooting, including 0 for 3 from 3-point range.
Arnett Moultrie led Mississippi State with 12 points and 13 rebounds, notching his league-leading 13th double-double of the season. Bost also scored 12 points. Moultrie fouled out with 2:04 remaining.
Florida used pressing, trapping defense to force the Bulldogs into 14 turnovers. But the biggest difference came at the 3-point line.
The Gators, who lead the nation in 3s, hit 11 of 24 from behind the arc.
Mississippi State was 7 of 16 from 3-point land, including two from Jalen Steele in the second half that helped the Bulldogs keep it close.
But they had no answer for Florida's shooters.
Beal was 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Murphy proved to be even more dangerous, hitting several with Moultrie right in his face.
Young was just as problematic.
The 6-foot-9 center came off the bench and provided all kinds of energy for Florida. He took two charges, played tight defense on Moultrie and was even more emphatic in the paint.
Young had three dunks and a putback in the final 12 minutes that helped turn the game, playing with the kind of enthusiasm that coach Billy Donovan has been wanting from him for weeks. Young grabbed a rebound off Walker's missed 3 and slammed it home. A few minutes later, he corralled Boynton's miss and dropped it through the net.
Releford lead Alabama past Arkansas 72-66
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Trevor Releford scored 18 points and Alabama snapped a four-game losing streak, beating Arkansas 72-66 on Saturday.
JaMychal Green finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for Crimson Tide (14-7, 3-4 Southeastern Conference), who won their 500th game in Coleman Coliseum. Tony Mitchell and Andrew Steele each scored 11 points. Steele also had a career-high six assists and six rebounds.
The four players who scored in double-digits were the most this season since Alabama put five players in double digits during an 82-45 victory over Alabama A&M on Nov. 23.
Ricky Scott had 18 points for the Razorbacks (15-6, 3-3) remain winless on the road. Mardracus Wade 12 points and BJ Young 11 points and six assists.
After trailing by five points on four occasions, Alabama grabbed its first lead 28-26 at the 7:11 mark when Releford made a three-point shot from the corner. The Crimson Tide stayed in front for the remainder of the half, extending their lead to 37-30 at halftime when Releford scored on a driving lay-up.
The Razorbacks went on a 17-8 run to take a 47-45 lead on a score by Devonta Abron with 13:41 remaining, after Abron had tied the game on a dunk. Trailing 56-54 with 6:59 left to play, Alabama outscored Arkansas 18-10 down the stretch to secure the win.
Alabama connected on 25-of-50 shots from the field, marking the seventh time this season the Crimson Tide has shot 50 percent or better in a game. Alabama scored 40 of its 72 points in the paint, while connecting on 20-of-25 free throws (80.0 percent) -- the third most the Tide has registered from the foul line this season.
Vanderbilt holds off Middle Tennessee 84-77
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- John Jenkins scored seven of his 26 points in the final 4:34, and Vanderbilt held off Middle Tennessee 84-77 Saturday for its 10th win in 11 games.
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings scheduled this game to take advantage of a break in the Southeastern Conference schedule, and his timing couldn't have been worse with Middle Tennessee coming in having won 12 straight.
The Commodores (16-5) handed Middle Tennessee (20-3) its first loss since Dec. 7. They outrebounded the Blue Raiders 28-22 and hit 24 free throws in 30 attempts to Middle Tennessee's 16 of 22.
Festus Ezeli scored a season-high 21 points and sank a career-best 11 free throws for Vanderbilt. Jeffery Taylor added 17 points and Lance Goulbourne had 11.
LaRon Dendy led Middle Tennessee with a career-high 22 points. JT Sulton had 12 points before fouling out, and Bruce Massey and Marcos Knight each had 10.
Both teams came in streaking, with Middle Tennessee's streak tied for third-longest in the nation. The Blue Raiders, whose campus is about 40 miles southeast of Nashville, have never won at Memorial Gym in a series Vandy now leads 29-4, but they certainly came close in this game.
The teams swapped the lead eight times with 10 ties, and Vanderbilt was up 44-39 at halftime. Middle Tennessee led by as much as eight in the first half, taking advantage of a cold-shooting start by Vanderbilt, and the Commodores never led by more than six as the teams went back and forth most of the second half.
Jenkins, the SEC's leading scorer, took charge for Vanderbilt late. He put Vandy ahead three times on buckets, the last for good at 78-76 with 1:45 remaining as he drove the baseline for a layup off a bounce pass from Brad Tinsley.
Then Goulbourne stole a bad pass by Dendy with the shot clock ticking down, and Ezeli scored on a layup for an 80-76 lead that was the biggest by either team since nearly midway through the half. Tinsley, who sat out nearly nine minutes after picking up his fourth foul with 15:32 left, added a pair of free throws, and Goulbourne made two more for the final margin.
It was a nice finish for the Commodores, who scored the first five points, then wound up hitting four of their first 16 shots.
Middle Tennessee had no problems shooting in Memorial Gym with the benches on the end lines. The Blue Raiders shot 57.4 percent (27 of 47) for the game and were hotter in the first half. Sulton dunked and let out a big scream after drawing a foul on a bucket that gave the Blue Raiders their biggest lead at 26-18 with 3:23 left.
Jenkins and Taylor, two of the SEC's top three scorers, struggled early. Jenkins hit only one of his first six shots, while Taylor was 2 of 7. Ezeli carried the Commodores by scoring 13 first-half points and hitting all seven attempts at the free throw line.
Middle Tennessee led 33-28 when Sulton went down hard after grabbing a defensive rebound and had to be helped to the bench with 5:01 left. Dendy was hurt a couple of seconds later and went to the locker room with a towel to his forehead. He didn't return until 1:30 remained, and Vandy went on an 11-2 run, capped by a bucket by Goulbourne.
Jones has 27, No. 1 Kentucky beats LSU 74-50
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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Terrence Jones highlighted a 27-point performance with a 13-0 run on his own and No. 1 Kentucky pulled away in the second half for a 74-50 win over struggling LSU Saturday night.
Anthony Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds despite briefly leaving the game when he hurt his right shoulder in a scramble for a loose ball.
Darius Miller added 13 points including three 3-pointers for Kentucky (21-1 7-0 Southeastern), which has won 13 straight games.
Johnny O'Bryant III had 12 points and nine rebounds for LSU (12-9, 2-5), which has lost four of its last five.
Storm Warren had 11 points for the Tigers, including an alley-oop dunk that briefly got the Tigers within a point at 25-24 late in the first half, before the Wildcats pulled away.
Jones scored the last four points of the first half, then helped Kentucky break the game open by scoring the first nine of the second half on two dunks, a fastbreak layup and another basket inside as he was fouled.
His last of 13 straight points in the game gave Kentucky a 44-26 lead. A few minutes later, Jones made his ninth field goal in 11 shots on a short jumper in the lane that gave him 21 points and put the Wildcats up 51-30.
LSU missed its first five shots, and 11 of its first 15.
Davis went down hard on his back during a scramble for a loose ball in the first half and remained down after the play before getting up grimacing and holding his right shoulder.
While he was gone, LSU went on an 8-1 run capped when Warren finished a fast break by taking lob from Hickey to cut Kentucky's lead to a point.
The crowd was still on its feet and howling when Marquis Teague calmly answered with a 3. Miller added another 3 soon after as the Wildcats closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 35-26 lead into the locker room.
Tennessee uses tough defense to beat Auburn 64-49
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jeronne Maymon scored 15 points and grabbed 19 rebounds as Tennessee beat Auburn 64-49 on Saturday night.
Kenny Gabriel sank a long jumper with 9:46 in the first half to give Auburn a 13-12 lead, but the Tigers wouldn't score a field goal for the rest of the half.
As Auburn missed 10 shots, Tennessee got five baskets in the lane as part of an 18-3 run that gave them a 30-16 halftime lead.
The Volunteers (10-11, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) outrebounded the Tigers 53-30, their highest rebounding total of the season, and finished with 26 points in the paint.
Tennessee held a 42-27 lead, when its shooting went cold for over 3 minutes. Auburn scored six points during the stretch, cutting the Vols' lead to 42-33 with 7:42 to play, but the Tigers would get no closer.
Gabriel led Auburn (12-9, 2-5), which has not won an SEC road game, with 13 points. Varez Ward added 12 points, and Rob Chubb scored 10.
Trae Golden scored 13 points, Skylar McBee added 12 points and Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes both had 11 points for Tennessee, which earned the program's 1,500 victory.
The Vols had lost their last four SEC games and were coming off an especially lopsided loss at Vanderbilt. Tennessee has played well at home in January though, thanks to consistently tough defense and rebounding, beating Florida and Connecticut and nearly upsetting Kentucky along the way.
Though Tennessee's offense didn't improve much from the 65-47 loss to the Commodores on Tuesday, the Vols managed better ball control. After turning the ball over 25 times against Vanderbilt, they gave the ball away just eight times against the Tigers.
Since its own blowout at the hands of Vanderbilt to open SEC play, Auburn had improved in many statistical categories. Over the last five games, the Tigers had been outscored by just 2.6 points per game and held a plus-3.4 rebounding margin against opponents.
The loss marked the seventh in a row for Auburn to Tennessee in Knoxville.
Ole Miss beats South Carolina 66-62
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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Terrance Henry scored 15 points, Murphy Holloway added 14 points and Mississippi edged South Carolina 66-62 on Saturday night.
Ole Miss (14-7, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) led for most of the night but had to fend off a late South Carolina rally to win. Henry made a 3-pointer from the corner with 16 seconds left that sealed the victory.
Nick Williams scored 12 points and Jelan Kendrick added a career-high 11 off the bench.
South Carolina (9-11, 1-5) was led by Malik Cooke's 17 points. Brenton Williams added 15 as the Gamecocks lost for the fifth time in six games.
As expected, it was a half-court, deliberate game featuring two teams that specialize in defense and struggle to put the ball in the basket.
Ole Miss had 18 turnovers, but made up for that ugly number by shooting 49 percent from the field (24 of 49) and outrebounding the Gamecocks 38-28.
The Rebels led 60-53 with 5:55 remaining, but South Carolina made a run. The Gamecocks pulled within 63-62 with 48 seconds left, but Cooke missed a free throw that could have tied the game.
On the next possession, Ole Miss point guard Jarvis Summers found Henry in the corner for a wide-open 3-pointer, and it splashed through the hoop to seal the win.
Holloway added 11 rebounds for a double-double against his former team. In a strange odyssey, he left Ole Miss after his sophomore season in 2010, transferring to South Carolina to be closer to his family which lives just outside of Columbia, S.C. He sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules and then decided that he wanted to transfer back to Ole Miss.
It wasn't clear if Holloway would be allowed to play this season until the fall, when the NCAA and SEC cleared his return to the Rebels.
He's been outstanding this season, epitomizing the Rebels' hard-nosed approach. He came into the game averaging 10.2 points and 9.3 rebounds despite an unorthodox left-handed shooting stroke, relying instead on relentless energy around the basket.
Against the Gamecocks, he made 4 of 7 shots from the field but shot just 6 of 13 from the free-throw line.
Ole Miss led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but had to settle for a 31-28 halftime lead after the Gamecocks went on a late run. Kendrick came off the bench to score seven points for the Rebels and did a serviceable job running the offense while starting point guard Jarvis Summers was on the bench with foul trouble.
South Carolina briefly took the lead early in the second half, but Ole Miss quickly regained control, using the bulk of Holloway and Reginald Buckner to control the paint. Buckner had three blocked shots.
South Carolina has played much better over the past week, beating Alabama on Wednesday after losing its first four SEC games. But the Gamecocks shot just 40 percent from the field (24 of 60) against the Rebels and gave up 14 offensive rebounds.