Robinson lead Georgia past South Carolina 67-55
|men's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Georgia 67, South Carolina 55
|Auburn 67, LSU 52
|Tennessee 68, Vanderbilt 61
|Ole Miss 60, Alabama 51
|Mississippi State 79, Arkansas 59
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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Gerald Robinson scored 23 points to lead Georgia to a 67-55 win over South Carolina Saturday in the regular season finale for both teams.
Georgia (14-16, 5-11 Southeastern Conference) failed to score in the first 7:43 of the game as South Carolina bolted to a 10-0 lead.
Malik Cooke led the Gamecocks (10-20, 2-14) with 17 points, and Bruce Ellington chipped in 10 points.
Coach Mark Fox started all four seniors, including career subs Connor Nolte and Matt Bucklin. That rare lineup plus the residual effect of playing at No. 1 Kentucky at 9 p.m. Thursday night contributed to the Bulldogs' sluggish start.
South Carolina's Cooke accounted for seven of the Gamecocks' first 10 points. The Bulldogs appeared headed for another low-scoring first half. Sixteen times this season already Georgia had scored fewer than 30 points in the first half, including three games with fewer than 20 points.
Georgia finally broke through when Robinson got a steal and a layup with 12:17 to go in the half. That started a 6-0 run, but the Gamecocks pushed their lead back to 16-6 on two layups in 12 seconds by Ellington.
But the Bulldogs heated up in the last six minutes of the half, hitting five straight 3-point baskets during a 24-7 run that put the Bulldogs up 30-23 at halftime. Robinson, who closed out his Stegeman Coliseum career, hit three of those treys.
South Carolina had its own scoring drought in the second half, going 7:37 between field goals, though the Gamecocks did make four free throws during that stretch. Cooke scored on a short jumper with 15:09 to play to cut the gap to 35-33. The Gamecocks did not score another field goal until 7:25 remained with Cooke hitting a 3-pointer that made it 49-40.
Georgia's biggest lead was 49-35 with 8:15 left when Donte Williams hit two free throws. A 3-pointer by Brian Richardson pulled the Gamecocks within 57-50 with 2:58 to go, but South Carolina could get no closer down the stretch.
Georgia hit 10 straight free throws over the last 4:05. For the game, Georgia hit a season-high 23 field goals. Entering the game, Georgia was 11th in the SEC in free throws made this year. Only South Carolina had made fewer.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season in 11th place in the standings and will play the SEC's sixth-place finisher Thursday at 10 p.m. in New Orleans.
South Carolina finished last and will draw the fifth place team at 3:30 Thursday.
Sullivan leads Auburn past LSU 67-52
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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Frankie Sullivan matched his season high with 22 points and Auburn snapped a three-game losing streak in a 67-52 victory over LSU on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Sullivan scored nine straight points to help Auburn (15-15, 5-11 Southeastern Conference) take control early in the second half and hand LSU (17-13, 7-9) its third consecutive defeat.
Kenny Gabriel scored 14 points in his home finale for Auburn, which had lost six of seven games, and Chris Denson had 12, making 8 of 12 free throws.
Ralston Turner led LSU with 14 points while John Isaac had nine. LSU had a chance to complete a turnaround with a .500 league mark after winning just five SEC games the previous two seasons combined, but couldn't get much offense going. LSU was on a four-game winning streak before stumbling in the stretch run.
Auburn secured the No. 10 seed in next week's SEC tournament in New Orleans.
LSU was just 17-of-50 shooting (34 percent) despite going 9 of 17 (52.9 percent) from 3-point range.
Auburn, which shot 52.2 percent (12 of 23) in the first half, opened the second on an 11-2 run to take a 45-31 lead five minutes in.
Sullivan, who rebounded from a 4-of-14 performance at Alabama, went on his solo spurt during that stretch. Auburn pushed the lead to 49-34 on Gabriel's jump shot with 11:08 to play.
LSU managed to cut the margin to 52-45 on Isaac's second 3-pointer of the half with 5:06 left before the comeback fizzled.
LSU went more than three minutes without making a field goal after that.
Auburn, the league's No. 11 foul-shooting team, hit 15 of 18 free throws down the stretch to keep the lead in double digits and continue expanding the cushion. The host Tigers were 23 of 31 from the line in the game, a 74.2 percent clip.
Auburn forced 17 turnovers and committed just 10.
LSU's starting frontcourt, Anthony Hickey and Johnny O'Bryant, struggled offensively. They were a combined 3-of-16 shooting for 11 points.
Tennessee tops Vanderbilt 68-61 for 1st-round bye
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Senior Cameron Tatum scored 18 points to help Tennessee clinch a first-round bye in the Southeastern Conference tournament with a 68-61 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday.
The Vols (18-13, 10-6 SEC) can earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament if Florida loses to No. 1 Kentucky on Sunday. Vanderbilt had locked up a bye in the tournament before Saturday's game.
Tennessee overcame its 18.8 percent shooting (3 of 16) from 3-point range by making 12 of 15 free throws down the stretch. Freshman Jarnell Stokes had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
John Jenkins, the SEC's leading scorer, did his best to keep Vanderbilt (21-10, 10-6) in the game, scoring eight of his team-high 18 points in the final 11 minutes.
The Vols threatened to put the game out of reach on several occasions -- three times pushing their lead to nine -- but Jenkins consistently scrapped out an answer on an off-shooting night for the junior.
Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor scored consecutive baskets to pull the Commodores within 56-53, but Tatum made four straight free throws to give Tennessee a late cushion.
The Vols, whose RPI is 81st according to RealTimeRPI.com, should get a boost to their thin NCAA tournament hopes from this victory. The Commodores are 19th in the latest RPI.
Trae Golden added 15 and Jeronne Maymon 12 for Tennessee.
The Vols cut down significantly on the season-high 25 turnovers that contributed to the Commodores' 65-47 win on Jan. 24. Tennessee finished with just 10 on Saturday.
Tennessee made only eight field goals in the second half but made 79.3 percent of its free throws (23 of 29), compared to its season average of 69.8 percent.
The Vols led early, but Jenkins hit three 3-pointers and Brad Tinsley added another in a 12-1 run that put Vanderbilt on top 21-15. Tennessee countered with a 13-2 run of its own and led 30-29 at halftime.
Ole Miss defeats Alabama 60-51
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OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- Terrance Henry scored 10 points and blocked a 3-point shot in the final 30 seconds to help preserve Mississippi's 60-51 win over Alabama on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Jarvis Summers and LaDarius White added 10 points apiece for the Rebels (18-12, 8-8 Southeastern Conference), who have won three straight and snapped Alabama's four-game winning streak. Ole Miss will be the No. 7 seed in the SEC tournament.
Trevor Releford led the Crimson Tide (20-10, 9-7) with 12 points while JaMychal Green had 11 points and 13 rebounds. Alabama will be seeded fifth in the conference tournament.
Ole Miss plays No. 10 seed Auburn on Thursday for the third time, as each team won at home. Auburn defeated the Rebels 69-68 in double overtime before the Rebels won 61-54.
Alabama will face No. 12 seed South Carolina on Thursday. The Gamecocks won 56-54 at home in the only meeting this season between the two clubs.
Ole Miss shot 21 of 49 from the field (42.9 percent) and struggled at the free-throw line, hitting only 16 of 34 (47 percent). But the Rebels turned the ball over only seven times against consistent full-court pressure from Alabama.
Ole Miss led 28-17 at halftime on the strength of a 14-2 run in the final seven minutes of the half. Henry highlighted the outburst with seven points and an assist. Alabama managed only 1 of 15 from the field during the decisive Ole Miss outburst.
Alabama pulled within four points on two occasions in the second half, the final time at 43-39 after a 3-pointer by Releford with 10:05 left. Alabama trailed 55-50 after a layup by Green with 2:34 remaining, but followed with a turnover and four missed shots from the field.
The Crimson Tide was 19 of 55 (34.5 percent), from the field and 8 of 14 (57.1 percent) from the free-throw line. Alabama, with Green and Jacobs combining for 21 rebounds, won the rebounding battle 42-38 but turned the ball over 13 times.
Mississippi State beats Arkansas 79-59
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STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) -- Arnett Moultrie scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his 18th double-double of the season and Mississippi State easily beat Arkansas 79-59 on Saturday.
It was Moultrie's fifth double-double in six games, and the 6-foot-11 junior was active early with 14 points and seven rebounds in the first half as the Bulldogs built a 37-23 lead.
The Bulldogs shot 51.8 percent from the field (29 of 56) -- including 55.6 percent in the second half (15 of 27). Dee Bost scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished seven assits while Brian Bryant added 15. The two seniors were playing in their final regular-season game at Humphrey Coliseum.
Mississippi State (21-10, 8-8 Southeastern Conference) won its second straight game and earned the No. 6 seed for next week's conference tournament in New Orleans.
Arkansas (18-13, 6-10) has lost seven of nine games. B.J. Young led the Razorbacks with 16 points while Mardracus Wade added 12 and Rashad Madden scored 10.
The dominating victory was further proof that Mississippi State has recovered from its five-game February skid. The Bulldogs ended the losing streak on Wednesday with an overtime victory at South Carolina and followed up by whipping the Razorbacks in their most complete performance in more than a month.
Mississippi State had a substantial size advantage in the post and exploited it repeatedly. The two teams went back and forth for the first few minutes, but the Bulldogs pulled ahead thanks to easy looks at the rim for Moultrie, Renardo Sidney and Wendell Lewis.
Mississippi State finished the game with 10 dunks, outscored Arkansas 42-22 in the paint and outrebounded the Razorbacks 36-27.
Moultrie finished with another efficient night in a season full of them, making 7 of 9 shots from the field and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line. He also added two assists, two blocks and two steals.
While MIssissippi State was getting point-blank opportunities in the post, Arkansas had to settle for mostly jump shots. Young shot 7 of 10 from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range.