SEC Men's Basketball Today: February 14 > SEC > NEWS
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    SEC Men's Basketball Today: February 14

    Florida 61, Alabama 52
    LSU 69, Mississippi State 67

    No. 14 Florida Gets Past Alabama, 61-52


    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) -- Patric Young took advantage of Alabama's suspension-depleted frontcourt with 19 points and No. 14 Florida beat the Crimson Tide 61-52 Tuesday night.

    The Gators (20-6, 8-3 Southeastern Conference) scored the first 16 points of the second half to turn a tie score into a comfortable win after losing two straight games.

    The Crimson Tide (16-9, 5-6) has lost two in a row without top two scorers and rebounders JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell, who are on indefinite suspension. Guards Trevor Releford and Andrew Steele did rejoin the team and the starting lineup after being held out for the LSU game.

    Young was hard to stop inside against the mismatch in the 22 minutes he was on the court. He scored 12 in the second half despite heading to the bench with four fouls halfway through and fouling out late. He finished 9 for 12 from the field. Erik Murphy and Bradley Beal scored 14 points apiece. Murphy made 4 of 7 3-pointers while Beal had eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.

    Steele led Alabama with 11 points. Charles Hankerson added nine points while Releford scored eight, all in the first half, and had three steals.

    The Tide had to turn to little-used big men Carl Engstrom and Moussa Gueye after freshman starter Nick Jacobs drew two quick fouls. Jacobs only played seven minutes.

    It proved a post mismatch, but the Gators also forced 18 turnovers, including some on errant passes and miscommunications. The 6-foot-5 Levi Randolph helped Alabama to a 34-32 rebounding edge with nine boards.

    Florida wasn't at full-strength either with key subs Will Yeguete (concussion) and Mike Rosario (bruised hip) both out.

    The Gators came out firing in the second half.

    Murphy opened with a 3-pointer and Young hit four baskets inside, including a pair of dunks during the Gators' 5-minute surge that put them up 42-26 and forced Tide coach Anthony Grant to burn a pair of timeouts against his mentor and former Gators boss, Billy Donovan.

    Florida started the half 7-of-8 shooting while Alabama missed its first 10 shots and couldn't climb back to within single digits until the game's final basket.

    Steele hit Alabama's first basket of the half with 11 minutes left.

    The Gators didn't need a big game from leading scorer Kenny Boynton, who finished with nine points, but didn't have a field goal in the first 25 minutes.

    The SEC's top scoring team also didn't need to approach its 78.8-point average either against a Tide team that is second in the league in scoring defense, but had few consistent scoring threats left.

    Releford and Murphy traded 3-pointers late in the first half and the teams went into the locker room tied at 26-26, the lowest scoring first half of the season for the Gators.

    They started out cold, making just 8 of 26 shots and 3 of 12 3-pointers before halftime.

    Florida, coming off losses to Kentucky and Tennessee, heated up for the final 20 minutes by making half of the team's 26 attempts.

    Alabama finished just 4 of 16 from 3-point range and 12 of 24 from the free throw line.

    Hickey lifts LSU over Mississippi State in OT 69-67


    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Anthony Hickey hit a driving floater in the paint with 1.4 seconds left in overtime, lifting LSU to a 69-67 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday night.

    Ralston Turner led LSU (15-10, 4-5 Southeastern Conference) with 17 points, but nearly cost the Tigers the game with a turnover that put Brian Bryant on the foul line with 11 seconds left. Bryant made only one free throw to tie it at 67, however, taking pressure off LSU as it set up the final shot.

    Justin Hamilton scored 14 points for LSU, which has won two straight, while Storm Warren added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

    Dee Bost had 15 points and Rodney Hood 14 for the Bulldogs (19-7, 6-5), who've lost two straight for the first time all season, both in overtime.

    Renardo Sidney added 13 points for Mississippi State, which was ranked in the AP Top 25 until losing to Georgia 70-68 in overtime on Saturday. Arnett Moultrie had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

    The Bulldogs started 4 of 7 from 3-point range and led by as many as 17 in the first half, but made only 2 of 11 from deep the rest of the way. Mississippi State also turned the ball over 21 times, leading to 18 LSU points. The Bulldogs outrebounded LSU 43-32 but LSU came up with some big rebounds in the clutch.

    Warren's 10th rebound on a miss by Hickey led to his ninth and 10th points on a pair of free throws that gave LSU a 65-63 lead with 1:10 left in overtime.

    Hickey pushed the Tigers' lead to four on a driving floater off the glass with 22 seconds remaining, but Sidney hit a 3 with 12.2 seconds left and then Turner overthrew Hamilton on the next inbound pass. Bryant intercepted the pass and was fouled driving to the hoop, setting up the dramatic finish.

    LSU scored the first seven points of the second half, completing a 23-6 run that had started late in the opening half and tied the game at 36.

    Sidney later scored six points on short jumper, tip-in and layup during a 10-1 Mississippi State run that put the Bulldogs back up 46-37, but LSU once again responded, this time with a 13-2 run, vaulting in front 54-50 on consecutive baskets by Storm Warren.

    Bryant tied it with four straight points on a driving floater and a steal that he converted in a soaring fast-break one-handed jam, and Mississippi State twice took a two-point lead in the final minutes, with Hamilton tying the game each time for LSU and then drawing a charge on a drive by Moultrie with 30 seconds to go.

    LSU then got the ball to Hamilton for a perimeter shot to win it, but it clanked off the rim, forcing overtime.

    The Bulldogs led early in overtime on Hood's 3, but Hamilton hit a 3 of his own, marking the third time he had pulled LSU into a tie since the final 2 minutes of regulation. Hamilton then gave LSU its first lead of overtime when he stuffed an alley-oop lob from Stringer, but Wendell Lewis' gritty putback tied the game once more at 63.

    Mississippi State shot nearly 54 percent (15 of 28) in the first half and raced to a double-digit lead in the opening 10 minutes, thanks in part to LSU's woeful shooting. The Tigers hit only three of their first 14 shots, several times looking out of control and missing badly when they tried to go inside. Most of their early shots came from outside and deep into the shot clock, and they weren't falling. LSU made only one of its first five attempts from 3-point range.

    The Bulldogs, by contrast, made four of their first seven 3s, including three straight by Bost, the last putting the Bulldogs ahead 30-13 with a little more than six minutes to go in the first half.

    LSU responded with its first sustained run of the game, a 7-0 spurt capped by Stringer's 3, which cut its deficit to 10. The teams then traded baskets several times, and the Bulldogs still led by 12 when Moultrie dropped in a graceful one-handed floater from the baseline.

    Malcolm White then hit a tough turnaround jumper for LSU, and Turner drained a 3 as time expired to pull LSU to 36-29 at halftime.