SEC Men's Basketball Today: February 11 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Men's Basketball Today: February 11

    Georgia 70, Mississippi State 68
    Arkansas 76, South Carolina 65
    Tennessee 75, Florida 70
    LSU 67, Alabama 58
    Ole Miss 61, Auburn 54
    Kentucky 69, Vanderbilt 63

    Caldwell-Pope, Georgia beat No. 20 Mississippi State in OT


    STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20 points, including a crucial 3-pointer late in overtime, and Georgia beat No. 20 Mississippi State 70-68 on Saturday.

    Georgia (12-12, 3-7) earned its first Southeastern Conference road win this season and only its second road victory overall. Gerald Robinson Jr. added 13 points, including eight in overtime. Dustin Ware had 11.

    Mississippi State (19-6, 6-4) was led by Dee Bost's 21 points. The senior guard missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that could have won the game.

    Georgia trailed for much of the afternoon, but Robinson hit a driving layup with 27 seconds remaining that sent the game into overtime.

    Georgia won at Humphrey Coliseum for the first time since 2002.

    Jalen Steele scored 15 points and Arnett Moultrie added 12 as Mississippi State lost the final game of its three-game homestand. Steele missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer in regulation that would have won the game.

    The game was back and forth in overtime with Mississippi State taking a 66-65 lead on Steele's 3-pointer with 1:22 remaining. But Caldwell-Pope responded with his own 3-pointer just seconds later, juking fellow freshman Rodney Hood before stepping back and making the long jumper for a 68-66 lead with 1:02 left.

    Robinson missed a free throw with 8 seconds remaining, which gave Mississippi State a chance to tie or win. Bost got a decent look from about just beyond the 3-point line but missed everything and Georgia celebrated the win.

    Georgia was coming off arguably its most impressive game of the season, an 81-59 home victory over Arkansas. And the Bulldogs played well again against Mississippi State, slowing the pace of the game by packing in the defense against MSU's talented frontcourt.

    Caldwell-Pope scored 14 points in the first half, helping Georgia shake off a slow start. Mississippi State led 34-31 at halftime.

    Caldwell-Pope was quiet for much of the rest of the game, until the big 3-pointer in overtime. The 6-foot-5 freshman is the team's leading scorer with 14.2 points per game.

    Moultrie's been one of the SEC's most consistent players, averaging 17 points and a league-leading 11 rebounds per game. But he didn't find a lot of room to work in the paint against Georgia and had a team-high three turnovers.

    Sidney helped offset Moultrie's subpar performance with one of his better outings. The inconsistent 6-10 sophomore contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

    Young's 27 help Arkansas down South Carolina 76-65


    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas always seems to look its best at home, no matter how bad it has looked on the road.

    The Jekyll-and-Hyde Razorbacks continued that trend Saturday, with BJ Young scoring 27 points in a 76-65 victory over South Carolina.

    The win followed a lackluster effort in a loss Wednesday night at Georgia, and it improved Arkansas to 17-0 at Bud Walton Arena this season. It's the most wins in one season in Fayetteville for the Razorbacks (17-8, 5-5 Southeastern Conference) since the arena opened in 1993.

    Of all the quality teams that have played in Fayetteville since then, this one has been the most surprising in coach Mike Anderson's first season. Arkansas has played most of the season with its best player, Marshawn Powell, out with a knee injury. The Razorbacks suited up only eight scholarship players --including four freshmen -- Saturday.

    "I'm very proud of them," Anderson said. "With all the things that have taken place with this team, the adversity that's taken place -- new coach, new system, freshmen coming in.

    "For these guys to withstand that and be where they are, they're in the hunt for something. I don't know what it is, but I couldn't be more proud of them."

    Arkansas' 1993-94 national championship team was 16-0 and held the previous mark for home wins. Several former Razorbacks were at Bud Walton Arena on Saturday to watch the game and a documentary afterward on that team and former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson.

    Richardson was also on hand, and he had to like what he saw out of the Razorbacks after a frustrating 81-59 loss at Georgia. Arkansas fell to 0-8 away from Fayetteville with that the loss, but it looked much more like the team that owns home wins over three ranked teams this season.

    Young's 27 points were his best since scoring a season-high 28 in a loss at Connecticut on Dec. 3.

    "I think it's just we're a young team and we're trying to learn the things we've got to do here and take that to the road," Young said. "I don't think we've done that yet, but it's a work in progress, and I think we're going to get it eventually."

    The Gamecocks (9-15, 1-9), meanwhile, had no answers in losing their fifth straight and ninth in their last 10. They committed 21 turnovers and were outscored 46-30 in the paint.

    Damontre Harris had 12 points to lead South Carolina, while Malik Cooke added 11 in the loss.

    The Razorbacks led 25-17 in the early going, with Young providing a spark off the bench. The freshman had 16 at halftime. His total for the game was his best in an SEC contest this season and his most since scoring 24 in a win over Mississippi State on Jan. 7.

    South Carolina used a 10-2 run to tie the game at 27 after a dunk on the fast break by Eric Smith. However, the Gamecocks' turnovers began to have an effect after that, with Arkansas scoring 11 straight points to end the half.

    "It's pretty simple, really," South Carolina coach Darrin Horn said. "We had the stretch at the end of the half where we did not take care of the ball.

    "The problem when you play Arkansas with the way they play ... is not that they can turn you over, but that their turnovers lead to baskets."

    Arkansas finished with 25 points off the Gamecocks' turnovers.

    "We had some turnovers at the end of the half, some turnovers we should have controlled, and they were able to score off them," Cooke said.

    Young capped the run with a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer, and the Razorbacks extended the run to 17-0 to start the second half -- taking a 44-27 lead after a Rashad Madden basket on the break.

    South Carolina was unable to get closer than seven points after that.

    Even Arkansas backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell took part in the fun. The 6-foot-4 sophomore, who came out for basketball after the Razorbacks' Cotton Bowl win over Kansas State, played 9 minutes in the first half with forward Michael Sanchez out with a shoulder injury.

    Sanchez's injury left Arkansas with only eight healthy scholarship players. But Mitchell -- who was recruited in basketball by LSU -- had six points and four rebounds in the first half. He finished with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting.

    "He brought great energy to the game," Arkansas forward Devonta Abron said. "He's in basketball shape now."

    Hunter Mickelson finished with 11 points for the Razorbacks and fellow freshman Abron added 10. Arkansas was 30 of 59 from the field (51 percent), a far cry from the disappointing loss to Georgia in which it shot 37 percent.

    Tennessee upsets No. 8 Florida, 75-70


    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Trae Golden scored 17 points, Jeronne Maymon added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Tennessee upset No. 8 Florida 75-70 Saturday, ending the Gators' home-winning streak at 19.

    Coming off a 20-point loss at top-ranked Kentucky and wearing gray uniforms to commemorate the program's back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007, Florida trailed by double digits early and never mustered anything resembling a comeback.

    It didn't help that the Gators played most of the game without their top two reserves, guard Mike Rosario and forward Will Yeguete. Forward Cody Larson also was out because of a stomach virus.

    Rosario missed the game because of a hip pointer, and Yeguete suffered a head injury early in the first half when he slammed into the padding at the base of the basket. He went to the locker room for stiches and never returned.

    The Gators essentially were left with a seven-man rotation that included seldom-used guard Casey Prather.

    The result was Florida (19-6, 7-3 Southeastern Conference) lost consecutive games for the first time this season. The Volunteers (13-12, 5-5) swept the series for the first time since 2009.

    Bradley Beal and Kenny Boynton led the Gators with 16 points apiece. Boynton had four of the team's 11 3-pointers. Florida leads the nations in 3s, but shot 37.9 percent (11 of 29) from behind the arc.

    Erik Murphy drained two 3s in the final minute, trimming Tennessee's lead to 71-64 with 18.3 seconds remaining. But the Volunteers closed it out from the free throw line.

    Golden hit two foul shots with 17.2 seconds left to push the lead back to nine.

    Wes Washburn was called for a technical foul with 11 seconds left, but Boynton missed both free throws. The Gators kept the ball, and Scottie Wilbekin hit a 3 to make it 73-67, but Golden sank two more on the other end to seal the victory.

    Skylar McBee had 13 points for Tennessee, and Jordan McRae added 12 before fouling out in the final minute. Talented freshman Jarnell Stokes played despite a sore right hand and finished with four points. Cameron Tatum spent most of the game on the bench in foul trouble. He didn't take a shot and finished scoreless for the third time in the last five games.

    Tennessee used a 15-2 run midway through the first half to take a 24-12 lead. McRae scored seven points in the spurt, most of them off Florida turnovers.

    The Gators finished with 15 turnovers, their most since committing the same number in Knoxville last month.

    The Volunteers protected the ball a little better.

    The biggest difference was Florida's depth. With a short bench, the Gators had few substitutes and no real chance to press and try to force tempo.

    Tennessee took advantage, taking the ball right at Patric Young and finishing with 36 points in the paint.

    LSU outlasts short-handed Alabama 67-58


    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Justin Hamilton scored 12 of his team-high 21 points in the second half, and LSU held off a feisty but suspension-riddled Alabama squad 67-58 on Saturday night.

    Johnny O'Bryant III had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Andre Stinger added 15 points for LSU (14-10, 4-6 Southeastern Conference), which snapped the Crimson Tide's three-game winning streak.

    Rodney Cooper scored a career-high 28 points for Alabama (16-8, 5-5), which played without its top three scorers and top two rebounders because of four suspensions in a span of six days.

    Shortly before the game, Alabama announced that three regulars -- including leading scorer and rebounder JaMychal Green -- had been suspended earlier in the day for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Also suspended Saturday were Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele. The trio was driven home by a graduate assistant. Tony Mitchell was suspended last Monday for conduct detrimental to the team.

    Mitchell is Alabama's second-leading scorer and rebounder, while Releford is the Crimson Tide's third-leading scorer.

    After trailing by 16 at halftime, Alabama got back in the game with a 12-0 run to open the second half. Nick Jacobs, who had 14 points, started the surge with a jumper. Then Cooper scored 10 straight points, converting a three-point play on a jumper as he was fouled, followed by his 3-pointer, layup and short jumper in the paint to cut LSU's lead to 31-27

    LSU did not score its first points of the second half until O'Bryan's layup made it 33-27 with 14:53 to go.

    Alabama twice got as close as three points, the last time on a 3 by Charles Hankerson Jr. that made it 42-39 with 11:25 left. The Tigers were able to keep the Tide from getting any closer thanks to dominant play inside by Hamilton and O'Bryant, who each scored in the double digits over the crucial last 15 minutes.

    Alabama was still within two possessions after Trevor Lackey's 3 with 2:27 to go, but LSU's Anthony Hickey responded with a 3 -- his first basket of the game -- that made it 60-51 with 1:38 left, and the Tide never threatened after that.

    LSU wound up outshooting Alabama, 49 percent (24 of 49) to 40.7 percent (22 of 54) and outrebounded the Tide 34-27.

    With his team undermanned, Grant went with a starting lineup of Lacey and Ben Eblen in the back court, and Cooper, Jacobs and Levi Randolph in the front court. Four of those players are freshmen who each had started at least nine games this season. Eblen, a junior, was making his first start of the campaign.

    Without Mitchell at Auburn last Tuesday, Alabama still managed to win its third straight. With three more regulars missing against LSU, the Tide struggled to keep pace with the Tigers early on.

    Stringer's two early jump shots, one from 3-point range, helped LSU race to a 10-2 lead. John Isaac's layup gave LSU its first double-digit lead at 21-11 and the gap got as wide as 16 points in the opening 20 minutes when Hamilton's free throws made it 31-15. That score stood until halftime, marking a season-low in points for Alabama in a first half.

    Ole Miss rallies past Auburn 61-54


    OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Murphy Holloway scored 20 points, including 14 straight to highlight a second-half comeback, as Mississippi defeated Auburn 61-54 Saturday night.

    The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Rebels (15-9, 5-5 Southeastern Conference) as Nick Williams and Jarvis Summers added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

    Holloway also grabbed 10 rebounds as Ole Miss erased an 11-point deficit in the final 15 minutes to keep alive its NCAA Tournament hopes.

    Auburn (13-12, 3-8) was led by Kenny Gabriel with 15 points. Frankie Sullivan added 10 for the Tigers, who have lost five of their last six and remain winless in six SEC road games.

    The Tigers led 31-24 at halftime and 39-28 with 15:16 left on a 3-pointer from Noel Johnson. Ole Miss answered with 12 straight by Holloway to lead 40-39.

    With the game tied at 51, the Rebels outscored the Tigers 10-3 in the final 2 minutes.

    Auburn finished 21 of 52 (40.4 percent), from the field, including 6 of 17 (35.3 percent), from 3-point range. Ole Miss shot 22 of 49 (44.9 percent), but struggled at the free throw line, making 13 of 25 (52 percent), which allowed the Tigers to make it close.

    Holloway, who finished with a game-high 10 rebounds, highlighted his decisive outburst with a traditional three-point play and a thunderous dunk.

    The teams swapped the lead on three more occasions before the Rebels took the lead for good, 53-51, on a steal and layup by Summers with 1:56 left.

    Auburn managed only one field goal in the final 2 minutes, a 3-pointer by Gabriel, as Ole Miss pulled away on baskets and free throws from Summers and Williams.

    Reggie Buckner, who finished with four blocked shots, had three blocks in the final minute and added a basket to complete the comeback win.

    The win enhanced the NCAA Tournament hopes of the Rebels, who remain in a four-team logjam for fourth place in the SEC at 5-5. Ole Miss hosts Vanderbilt on Thursday and visits Kentucky on Saturday in a pair of games that should determine the Rebels' postseason position.

    No. 1 Kentucky beats Vandy 69-63 for 17th straight win


    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Doron Lamb hit a 3-pointer with 3:18 left to put No. 1 Kentucky ahead to stay, and the Wildcats took a big step toward a Southeastern Conference regular-season title by beating Vanderbilt 69-63 Saturday night for their 17th straight win.

    Kentucky (25-1, 11-0) disrupted Vanderbilt with aggressive defense in the first half, and the Wildcats held off a furious charge in a sold-out and electric Memorial Gym by scoring the final eight points of the game. The young and talented Wildcats wound up holding off the experienced Vanderbilt squad that had been predicted to be their best challenge this season.

    Lamb finished with 16 points, Anthony Davis added 15 points and seven blocks, Terrence Jones scored 14 and Marquis Teague had 13.

    Vanderbilt (17-8, 6-4) led 63-61 with 4:08 to go on a bucket by Brad Tinsley. The Commodores didn't score again and snapped a four-game home winning streak over No. 1 teams. They missed a chance to pull into a tie with Florida for second in the SEC.

    They had four senior starters and the top two scorers in the conference, but none of it was any match for Kentucky.

    John Jenkins led Vanderbilt with 15 points, and Jeffery Taylor, Tinsley and Festus Ezeli added 13 each.

    Kentucky had held its previous five opponents to an average of 49.6 points with the nation's stingiest field goal percentage defense at 35.8 percent. Vanderbilt came in with the SEC's best shooting team beyond the arc, and Kentucky held the Commodores to just 8 of 21 from 3-point range (38.1 percent) -- well below their 42.1 percent average.

    The Wildcats led 36-23 at halftime and had been up by as much as 14 in the first half.

    Vanderbilt opened the second half by hitting six of its first seven shots from long range and 10 of its first 14 overall from the floor in rallying back.

    Taylor, held to only two points in the first half, scored 11 as Vanderbilt chipped away at the lead, and his 3-pointer with 11:58 tied it up at 48. The Commodores got a turnover under the Kentucky basket, and Goulbourne passed to Tinsley for a dunk he celebrated with a scream, giving Vandy a 53-51 lead that was its first since 9-8.

    Ezeli added a dunk for Vanderbilt's biggest lead.

    Davis answered with a jumper and a dunk he finished with a free throw for a three-point play. Tinsley hit a 3-pointer before his bucket with 4:08 to go. Lamb then put Kentucky ahead to stay with his 3 from the left corner in front of the Wildcats' bench. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who played much of the second half in foul trouble, hit two free throws and Darius Miller also scored.

    Taylor's 3-point attempt in the final minute was blocked by Davis before bouncing off the back of Ezeli's head.