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    SEC Men's Basketball Today: November 16

    Men's Basketball RESULTS
    Alabama 77, Villanova 55
    Tennessee 45, Oklahoma State 62
    Kentucky 101, Lafayette 49
    South Carolina 87, Morgan State 71
    Ole Miss, 84, UALR 46
    Auburn 55, Coll. of Charleston 51
    Mizzou 70, Nicholls State 54
    Vanderbilt 48, Oregon 74


    Alabama Remains Undefeated 


    NEW YORK - Junior guard Trevor Releford drained a career-high 25 points to lead the men's basketball team to a 77-55 victory over Villanova on Friday to win the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 4-0 on the season, while the loss drops the Wildcats to 3-1.

    Releford hit 8 of his 10 attempts in the game and was 5-for-5 from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard Rodney Cooper reached double-figure points for the fourth time in as many games this season as well, scoring 17. For the game, Alabama shot 59.5 percent (25-42) from the floor, including 64.3 percent (9-14) from three-point range.
     
    The Tide returns to the hardwood on Friday, Nov. 23, when it hosts Charleston Southern in Coleman Coliseum. The game is slated to tip at 7 p.m. CT. 



    Tennessee Falls to Oklahoma State in Puerto Rico


    BAYAMON, P.R. - Tennessee suffered its first defeat of the 2012-13 season, falling 62-45 to Oklahoma State in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Tipoff. The Vols will play in the third-place game on Sunday at 4 p.m., against or UMass, who lost to No. 6 NC State, 94-76.
     
    The Vols (2-1) struggled from the floor all afternoon, shooting just 26.0 percent overall and only making 5-of-23 from 3-point rage. Oklahoma State outrebounded the Vols 40-30.
     
    Junior guard Trae Golden led Tennessee with 11 points -- he was the Vols' only double-figure scorer.
     
    Oklahoma State moved to 3-0 and will play in the championship game on Sunday. The Cowboys built a double-figure lead late in the first half and never let the Vols get within 11 for the entire second half.
     
    Marcus Smart led three Cowboys in double-figures with 17 points along with a game-high nine rebounds. Le'Bryan Nash also tallied 17 while Markel Brown had 13 points and eight rebounds.
     
    Ahead by 14 on seven different occasions in the first 10 minutes of the second half, Oklahoma State finally extended its lead beyond that two-touchdown mark on a 3-pointer by Smart and a layup by Kirby Gardner. Those buckets finished a 7-0 spurt by OSU and put them ahead 54-35 with 7:45 remaining.
     
    The lead moved past 20 for the first time all game as Brown made a free throw with 2:24 left, giving OSU a 62-42 lead.
     
    Oklahoma State kept the Vols at bay early in the second half, taking a 33-19 lead. Jarnell Stokes (seven points and four rebounds) scored UT's first basket of the second half with 17:09 left in regulation.
     
    In a defensive first half, OSU led 30-19 at halftime as the Cowboys outrebounded the Vols 20-13. Smart led all scorers with nine points. OSU outscored the Vols 14-7 to end the half. Golden was the top scorer for UT with five points.
     
    The offenses struggled on both ends as the teams were held scoreless for nearly five minutes midway though the half. OSU broke the drought as former Vol Philip Jurick scored with 7:27 left in the half to give the Cowboys as 16-7 lead.
     
    Tennessee missed 10 field goals in a row, as the Vols did not register a point for 8:21. Redshirt freshman Quinton Chievous made his first-career field goal -- a 3-pointer -- with 6:37 left in the half to end the drought, bringing UT within six at 16-10.
     
    Oklahoma State used an 8-0 run to take a 24-12 lead with 2:47 left in the first half as Nash scored. Skylar McBee canned a 3-pointer to halt the spurt with 2:26 left in the half.
     
    The Vols will play in the third-place game on Sunday at 4 p.m. That game will be televised on ESPNU and be carried on the Vol Network.



    Kentucky Blows Past Lafayette in Lexington


    LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kyle Wiltjer hit seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points, Alex Poythress added a career-high 22 and No. 3 Kentucky routed Lafayette 101-49 in its home opener Friday night.
     
    The Wildcats shot 65 percent (40 for 62) from the field, including 11 of 19 shooting from 3-point range, and Wiltjer set the tone by hitting his first two to open the game. He finished 7 of 11 from behind the arc, including 5 of 8 in the second half.
     
    "We're not a 58 percent 3-point shooting team," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "We're more like a 40 percent team."
     
    Poythress followed up his 20-point effort in Tuesday night's 75-68 loss to No. 9 Duke by hitting nine of 10 shots and grabbing five rebounds. That led a good night for Kentucky's heralded freshmen class as Nerlens Noel added 15 points, Willie Cauley-Stein 14 and Archie Goodwin 13.
     
    The Wildcats (2-1) won their fourth home opener under Calipari and 10th in the past 11 seasons. They also improved to 9-1 against the Patriot League.
     
    Tony Johnson scored 13 points for Lafayette (1-2), which lost leading scorer Dan Trist to a sprained ankle during the morning shootaround.
     
    Graduate transfer Julius Mays had 10 of the Wildcats' season-best 23 assists.
     
    The win opened a three-game homestand for Kentucky, which was coming off a fairly solid effort against Duke. The Wildcats shot 49 percent in that game, including 4 of 10 from 3-point range, and were nearly even on rebounds (31-30) against a veteran Blue Devils squad.
     
    And the confidence gained from cutting a 14-point deficit to three before losing carried over against Lafayette, which was playing its first ranked opponent since an 86-41 loss to No. 6 Villanova on Nov. 20, 2010.
     
    The Wildcats came out hot, hitting their first five shots and six of seven overall. Wiltjer started it with consecutive 3-pointers, Mays added one of his own and Kentucky was on its way to its best first half this season.
     
    The Wildcats ended up hitting their first five 3-point attempts and six of eight to highlight a 20-of-31 shooting (65 percent) effort in the first half. Their previous best was 58 percent in the opener against Maryland.
     
    More pleasing to Calipari was how well his seven-man rotation spread the ball around. Everybody scored, with Poythress muscling inside for 12 points, Noel adding nine and Cauley-Stein and Wiltjer eight each.
     
    Despite starting without their best scorer, the Leopards were unfazed by height and talent disadvantages and stayed close for a moment. Levi Giese and Joey Ptasinski both sank 3-pointers, Alan Flannigan got an inside basket and Tony Johnson another off a Noel goaltending call.
     
    That made it 15-10 but it was all Kentucky after that. A 7-2 spurt was followed by 15 unanswered points over a 3:34 span for a 37-12 lead. Lafayette rarely got closer than 20.
     
    With their tallest player being 6-foot-10 Ben Freeland, there was little the Leopards were going to do against the Wildcats' inside duo of 6-10 Noel and 7-foot Cauley-Stein to begin with. And other than a couple of sloppy stretches by Kentucky, Lafayette struggled to keep up athletically.
     
    Losing Trist made things even tougher. He scored a career-high 30 points to lead Lafayette's 98-94 overtime win over LIU-Brooklyn on Monday and was expected to counter some of Kentucky's scoring.
     
    His presence might not have helped the Leopards, who shot just 40 percent and committed 28 turnovers.
     
    From there it became a series of highlight-reel plays, including a thunderous flying dunk by Goodwin that brought a roar from the Rupp Arena crowd of 21,360. They quickly turned to boos as he was called for an offensive foul.
     
    It didn't matter with the Wildcats outscoring the Leopards 50-18 in the second half.



    South Carolina Comes Away With Win Over Morgan State


    COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina (2-0) defeated Morgan State (1-3) 87-71 on Friday night in non-conference action at Colonial Life Arena. Five Gamecocks scored double figures in the match, led by senior guard LaShay Page who scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down five rebounds.
     
    South Carolina junior guards Eric Smith, Brenton Williams and Brian Richardson added 17, 14 and 10 points, respectively, for the Gamecocks. Junior forward R.J. Slawson put up 10 points and brought down seven rebounds and senior forward Lakeem Jackson notched eight points and eight rebounds. Every South Carolina player that registered significant minutes tallied at least two boards in the effort as the Gamecocks out-rebounded the Bears 35-22. South Carolina was without freshman forward Michael Carrera, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, due to a concussion. 
     
    Two junior guards led the Morgan State effort, Justin Black, who scored 20 points and Anthony Hubbard with 15. Senior forward DeWayne Jackson added 11 on the night. The Bear's leading rebounder was junior center Ian Chiles who came down with five. 
     
    Morgan State jumped out to an early lead by capitalizing on chances in transition. The Bears built up a seven-point advantage early in the first half, but could not pull away. 
     
    After chipping away at the Morgan State lead, South Carolina tied the game at 22-22. Page ignited a run by jumping on a loose ball and calling timeout to give South Carolina possession. Williams drained a 3-pointer coming out of the timeout to spur a 16-5 Gamecock run. Page added another three and a pair of free throws in the spurt to give the home team an 11-point lead. 
     
    The Bears responded with a 10-2 run of their own to pull within three, but could not get any closer. The teams went into the locker room with South Carolina holding a 45-41 advantage.
     
    Coming out of the break, Morgan State pulled within one at 45-44 on a three-point play by Hubbard, but the Gamecocks responded with six unanswered points that included back-to-back buckets by Slawson to firmly take the lead. 
     
    South Carolina built a 12-point lead midway through the second half and went 9-9 from the free throw line down the stretch to maintain their lead and cruise to a 87-71 win.
     
    The Gamecocks are back in action at Colonial Life Arena at 7 p.m. on Mon., Nov. 19, when they take on Rider. The game is a part of the Hoops for Hope Classic and is scheduled to be broadcast on SportSouth. 



    Ole Miss Downs UALR


    OXFORD, Miss.- Freshman Derrick Millinghaus scored a career-high 19 points with five assists and Marshall Henderson added 17 points, as Ole Miss outscored UALR 45-19 in the second half en route to a 92-52 win on Friday night.
     
    Reginald Buckner earned his first double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, and the senior added three blocks in three-straight UALR possessions for an Ole Miss defense that posted 10 blocks in the game.
     
    Five Rebels scored in double figures as Ole Miss topped the 90-point mark for the third-straight game for the first time since 2007-08.
     
    "We were sloppy at times, but overall it's hard to be displeased when you beat a solid team," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "I've got a lot of respect for their program and they're always fundamentally sound and tough. They're not going to give you anything free and the way we played against them was a step in the right direction."
     
    The Rebels went into halftime with a 14 point lead over the Trojans, but extended that lead with a 34-6 run to start the second half.
     
    "Jarvis (Summers) had a couple of turnovers early, which gave Derrick an opportunity," Kennedy said. "Five assists and four turnovers are not ideal, but he was very active and I was pleased to see him have a good game."
     
    Ole Miss shot 52.4 percent from the field, 52.9 percent in the second half, led by Henderson and Millinghaus. The senior tandem of Nick Williams and Murphy Holloway also added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
     
    The Rebels held the Trojans, led by John Gillon's 14 points, to 29.7 percent from the field for the game.
     
    Ole Miss will take on McNeese State on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Tad Smith Coliseum. 



    Auburn Pulls Off Close Victory


    CHARLESTON, S.C.---Frankie Sullivan totaled a game-high 24 points, including 20 in the second half, to go along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals with 20 stitches in his shooting arm to lead Auburn to a 55-51 victory over the College of Charleston in the Charleston Classic second round in TD Arena on Friday.
     
    Sullivan, who left the previous night's game with 15 minutes to play after crashing into the scorer's table, scored Auburn's first 14 points of the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers, to give the Tigers a 36-31 lead with 11:36 remaining. Jordan Price followed with four straight to give Auburn a 40-32 lead with 11 minutes to go.
     
    "That's what Coach told me to do at halftime to pick it up for the team, and that is what I tried to do," said Sullivan. "He came into the locker room at halftime and challenged the seniors that if you are going to win in this country, the senior guards always win it for you. I took the challenge on and accepted it for the team.
     
    "My arm was throbbing the whole game, but I am used to pain. I have broken a lot of bones in my body. It is about the will, and it is not about the pain. It blocks it out when the adrenaline starts going. So, my adrenaline started going and the pain went away."
     
    A 7-0 Charleston run closed the Cougars to within 40-39 less than a minute later, but the Tigers stretched it out to a 50-44 lead after back-to-back great moves for buckets down low by Shareif Adamu with 3:39 remaining. Adamu then made two huge free throws with 36 seconds left for a 52-47 lead to score six straight for the Tigers. "Frankie is the heart and soul of our team, and I am proud of the way he responded in the second half," said Auburn head coach Tony Barbee.
     
    A Adjeh Baru tip-in for the Cougars made it 52-49 Auburn with 18 seconds left before Sullivan drained a pair of foul shots for a 54-49 lead a half second later. After another Baru layup, Noel Johnson split two foul shots for a 55-51 lead with 7.6 seconds left to ice it.
     
    "We are going to be a work in progress on the offensive end of the floor," said Barbee. "We have to get our younger guys rolling. We have to get Rob Chubb and Shareif established in the post. Even though it doesn't show up in high production, those guys made some big buckets down the stretch when we had to keep them at bay.
     
    "The key tonight was we had to be better on the defensive end of the floor. We held them to 38 percent shooting after Murray State shot 53 percent last night. We had 20 turnovers last night, 15 in the second half that led to 20 points. We did those things better tonight. We had some guys step up tonight. Defensively, we also forced 19 turnovers.
     
    Auburn improved to 2-1 on the season while College of Charleston fell to 1-2. Three-straight Noel Johnson 3-pointers gave Auburn a 13-10 lead with 9:54 left in the first. Johnson entered the game missing all 10 of his field goal attempts this season. The Tigers used a 16-6 run to take a 20-15 lead with 4:18 to play before the Cougars closed the half with an 8-2 run to regain the lead 23-22 at the half.
     
    Auburn shot 35.8 percent from the field, but 50 percent in the second half as the Tigers held College of Charleston to 38.3 percent shooting. The Tigers were 6-fo-17 from 3-point range and 11-of-14 from the foul line while the Cougars were 5-of-15 behind the arc and 10-of-18 from the foul line.
     
    Charleston outrebounded Auburn 42-26 but Auburn forced 19 turnovers. Noel Johnson had 12 points, with 11 of them coming in the first half on 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. Adamu added 11 points. Charleston was led by Anthony Stitt's 11 points.
     
    The Tigers play Dayton, who defeated Boston College 87-71 on Friday after losing to No.1 6 Baylor 84-74 on Thursday, in the Charleston Classic third round at 1 pm CT on Sunday on ESPN3. 



    Mizzou Takes Care of Business


    COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Alex Oriakhi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, Earnest Ross scored 16 points and No. 14 Missouri beat Nicholls State 74-54 on Friday night.
     
    The Tigers (3-0) put to rest their tendency to start slowly - at least for one game - after senior forward Laurence Bowers promised to fix the team's energy problems after Missouri shot 23 percent in the first half Tuesday night against Alcorn State. Missouri used a 7-0 run within the first four minutes and wouldn't relinquish the lead after that.
     
    Missouri shot 22 of 51, including 39.3 percent in the first half, bettering its 31 percent from its first two games. The Tigers also hit 7 of 12 from 3-point range and outrebounded Nicholls State 41-25.
     
    Fred Hunter scored 22 points and T.J. Carpenter added 14 for Nicholls State (0-2), which has dropped both its games this season to Southeastern Conference teams. The Colonels lost to Vanderbilt on Saturday in their opener, 80-65. Nicholls State led by four points with less than nine minutes remaining in that game.
     
    Missouri jumped out to its largest lead of the game - 54-32 - on Phil Pressey's 3-pointer with 13:46 remaining. The Tigers used an 11-1 run over a 3 1/2-minute stretch near the end of the first half that made the score 25-14, but a 9-2 Colonels run followed to narrow the gap, and Missouri led 32-25 at the break.
     
    Nicholls State took advantage of eight Missouri turnovers in the first half, scoring nine points off the miscues. But the Colonels turned it over 10 times in the second, and Missouri converted them into 17 points.
     
    Oriakhi shot only 4 of 10, continuing his struggles from the field, but still raised his season field goal percentage to 37.5 percent. He did most of his damage at the free throw line, where he went 9 of 10. He also became the first Missouri player to pull down 10 or more rebounds in his first three games since Malcolm Thomas did so in 1983-84.
     
    Michael Dixon again participated in the pregame shootaround but remained on the bench for the game, suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Missouri coach Frank Haith has said he would let reporters know what the infraction was only when the suspension is lifted.
     
    Nicholls State fell to 3-18 on the road against non-Southland Conference opponents since the 2009-10 season, and 0-2 in the last two seasons against ranked teams. The Colonels take on independent New Orleans on Nov. 26 before heading to No. 21 Michigan State on Dec. 1 for their only current ranked opponent remaining on the schedule.
     
    Missouri won its 68th consecutive game at home against non-conference opponents, dating to the 2005-06 opener against Sam Houston State. The Tigers won their only previous matchup with Nicholls State, 66-57 on Dec. 1, 1998, in Columbia.



    Vanderbilt Stumbles On West Coast Road Trip


    Kyle Fuller hit 66 percent of his field goal attempts while dropping 17 points at Oregon on Friday night, but it was not enough for Vanderbilt to beat the Ducks. The Commodores left the West coast with a 74-48 defeat at the hands of their Pac-12 foes, thanks in large part to a subpar shooting night as a squad.
     
    Vandy (1-1) connected on just 16 of its 47 shots (34 percent) for the game, including a tough 4-for-21 mark from behind the 3-point arc. Oregon hit 45 percent of its shots on the evening, and the Ducks rode a quick start to a 21-point advantage at halftime. E.J. Singler led the effort for the Ducks with 22 points, six assists and five rebounds while Tony Woods also contributed with 10 points of his own.
     
    Kedren Johnson had a good outing for the Commodores, finishing with 14 points and four boards. Vandy was out-rebounded for the game by a final margin of 34-28, and its 18 turnovers compared to just nine assists were detrimental to its cause.