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    SEC Men's Basketball Today: November 20

    Arkansas 89, Florida A&M 60
    Texas A&M 55, Washington State 54
    Marquette 89, Mississippi State 62
    UCLA 60, Georgia 56
    Florida 58, Savannah State 40
    Ole Miss 76, McNeese State 50
    LSU 102, Northwestern State 95

    Arkansas rattles Florida A&M
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Behind a double-double from junior Marshawn Powell, the University of Arkansas men’s basketball team downed the Florida A&M Rattlers by a score of 89-60 for Arkansas’ second game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.
    “Florida A&M came in and tested us,” head coach Mike Anderson said. “We missed easy opportunities to distance ourselves, but it was a good gut check for our guys.”
    Leading the Razorbacks on the court was Powell, who recorded the eighth double-double of his career and first since the 2010-11 season with 21 points and 10 boards against the Rattlers.
    “Powell had a double-double and had a good balanced scoring night,” Anderson said. “He is starting to look like his old self.”
    Four other Razorbacks, Rickey Scott (13), BJ Young (12), Mardracus Wade (11) and Coty Clarke (10) scored in double-figures as the team advanced to 3-0 on the season. The Razorback bench contributed largely to the win, scoring 35 of the team’s 89 points.
    “I loved our energy off the bench with Ricky Scott and Coty Clarke in particular,” Anderson said. “Coty came off the bench with good energy.”
    Arkansas went 7-of-17 from the three-point line and recorded 20 points on the free-throw line in the victory. Defensively, the Razorbacks had a tremendous game, picking up 10 steals and eight blocks.
    At the start of the game, Powell electrified the crowd when he recorded a defensive rebound and drove it down the court picking up a crowd-pleasing dunk off an assist from Mickelson. The next three Razorback possessions were all Powell as the Newport News, Va., native recorded two layups and a dunk, making it eight-straight Razorback points to put Arkansas up 15-6 with 14:37 remaining in the first half.
    With 12:31 remaining in the first the Razorbacks began a momentous 12-0 run, in which four different UA players scored to put Arkansas up 29-12.
    The Razorbacks would conclude the half with an 18-point lead over Florida A&M with five different Razorbacks making a three-pointer and nine different UA players putting points on the board. Leading the Razorbacks was Powell who recorded 13 first-half points and five boards. Arkansas would capitalize on the 10 Rattler turnovers and put up 19 points.
    To open the second-half it was Powell again that stunned the crowd as he blocked a shot by the Rattlers and snagged the defensive rebound only to drive the ball down the court for another dunk, which put the Razorbacks up by 20, 51-31. The Rattlers would respond by putting together a 13-4 run to close the gap to 11 with 15:05 remaining in the first. After a timeout, Arkansas would pick up the pace and shut out the Rattler offense as they put up a 13-0 run in 4:23 to extend their lead to 10, 64-44 with 13:15 remaining.
    Arkansas would keep up the intensity for the rest of the game as they finished with a final score of 89-60, putting the Razorbacks margin of victory over the last three games at nearly 28 points per game.
    The Razorbacks will hit the road on Friday to take on Arizona State at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., at 6:00 p.m. CT as a part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.

    Texas A&M Nips Washington State, 55-54

    Elston Turner hit a straight away three-pointer with two seconds left, lifting Texas A&M past Washington State 55-54 in the consolation game of the CBE Classic in Kansas City.

    Washington State had a chance to go up by three with 17.5 seconds left, but D.J. Shelton missed his second free throw after making the first.

    After Turner's shot, Washington State was only able to get a half-court heave off, and it fell short.

    Ray Turner led the Aggies with 14 points and Elston Turner had 10.

    Dexter Kernich-Drew paced Washington State with 16 points.

    Mississippi State Drops 89-62 Decision To Marquette In Maui Invitational

    MAUI, Hawaii - Fred Thomas poured in a career-high 17 points but it was not enough as the Mississippi State men's basketball team dropped an 89-62 decision to Marquette Tuesday afternoon at the EA Sports Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center.

    The Bulldogs gave up the first eight points of the contest and later fell down 18-4 after a 10-0 run by the Golden Eagles. The Bulldogs allowed 29 first-half points off turnovers and failed to recover.

    "Marquette is a team that plays hard and with a lot of toughness," MSU head coach Rick Ray said. "They are going to compete on every possession. I don't think we matched that intensity in the first half."

    With eight players in uniform, the Bulldogs had to battle through early foul troubles. A late-game in jury to Roquez Johnson did not help matters any either.

    "We have two major problems with our depth right now," Ray said. "First of all, we can't hold guys accountable if they aren't playing hard and aren't competing. Then our other issue is when we mount a good run, we get fatigued and worn down. It is hard on us when it becomes a game of attrition."

    Still, the Bulldogs (1-3) did have some bright spots.

    A true freshman, Thomas connected on 6-of-15 shots from the field, including a 4-of-8 night from 3-point range. Thomas also had only one turnover, three rebounds and a steal in 34 minutes of play.

    "Fred has to make open shots for us," Ray said. "He is a pure shooter. Sometimes, he gets too wrapped up in the shot, when he already has one he can make. He has to give us the same effort on the defensive end. However, we are going to get him there."

    Fellow freshman Gavin Ware scored a career high 11 points in 32 minutes. Ware has scored nine or more points in all four games as a Bulldog. The former Starkville High standout finished with six rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal as well.

    After surrendering the game's first eight points, the Bulldogs cut that deficit in half. Marquette scored the game's next 10 points. Again, the Bulldogs battled back to an 18-9 deficit. Marquette continued its early offensive tear and pushed the lead back out to 25-9.

    A dunk by Roquez Johnson brought the Bulldogs within 11 at 25-14. Marquette scored the game's next seven points, thanks in to part to 15 first-half turnovers for the Bulldogs.

    Marquette (3-1) shot 57.6 percent from the field in the first half and led 48-27 at the intermission. In the half, the Bulldogs managed only one assist, compared to the 15 turnovers.

    "Our biggest problem on offense is our unwillingness to reverse the basketball," Ray said. "We have guys who are looking for the killer play. We need the ball moving through the air more. That is how your break a defense down."

    In the second half, the Bulldogs got a spark from Johnson, who finished with 16 points, three blocks, a steal and eight rebounds in 26 minutes of work. The Bulldogs closed within 17 at 57-40 but could not get any closer. Still, the teams battled to almost even terms for most of the final half before a worn down Bulldog squad gave up some easy baskets late.

    For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 20 of 52 shots from the field (38.5 percent), 5 of 12 shots from 3-point range (41.7 percent) and 17 of 23 shots from the foul line (73.9 percent). The Golden Eagles hit 37 of 71 shots from the field (52.1 percent), 7 of 11 shots from 3-point range (63.6 percent) and 8 of 9 shots from the foul line (88.9 percent).

    Marquette held a 38-33 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had seven assists and 22 turnovers, while the Golden Eagles had 18 assists and 14 turnovers.

    Marquette received 18 points from Vander Blue, 13 points from Trent Lockett and 11 points from Jamil Wilson.

    The Bulldogs will face either Texas or Southern California in the seventh place game of the tournament Wednesday afternoon. That contest will start at 1:30 p.m. CT and be televised nationally by ESPNU.

    Georgia Falls to #11 UCLA 60-56

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Freshman Shabazz Muhammad scored 14 of his game-high 21 points in the second half as 11th-ranked UCLA overcame a double-digit deficit to outlast Georgia 60-56 in the Progressive Legends Classic here Tuesday night.

    Georgia, for the second consecutive night, led a nationally-ranked team throughout the first half, and also for much of the second period.  The Bulldogs (1-4) were led in scoring by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who had 16 points.  Seven other Georgia players scored, including three with eight points: Donte' Williams, Nemanja Djurisic and reserve John Cannon.

    "It was a tough, hard-fought game again, but for the second night in a row, in the gut of the game, the other team made the big plays and we didn't," Georgia coach Mark Fox.  "UCLA's zone defense was effective; give them credit for that.  We just didn't execute well against it, particularly in the second half. We also were outscored by a wide margin at the free throw line.  And in such a low-scoring game, that was the difference."

    Georgia took quick command of this game, bolting to an early lead on buckets by Djurisic and Williams.  A pair of foul shots by Williams with 7:40 left got the Bulldogs their first double-figure lead at 22-12.  Their largest margin of the half came on a turnaround jumper by Cannon that boosted them in front 30-19 at the 3:31 mark.

    UCLA (4-1), however, wasted little time gaining an even foothold in the second period.  Muhammed scored on the Bruins' first two possessions, and a 3-pointer by Normal Powell with 16:43 left put UCLA ahead for the first time at 35-33.

    The Bruins built their lead to five before Georgia mounted a rally to reclaim command.  A jumper by reserve guard Charles Mann put the Bulldogs back in front at 44-42 with 10:04 left.

    UCLA broke a 49-all tie and took the lead for good on a jumper by Travis Wear with 4;38 left.  A key moment for Georgia came with the Bulldogs trailing 55-52, when Caldwell-Pope lost balance and possession, a turnover that  UCLA converted into foul shots by Powell with 57 seconds left.

    Georgia will resume their 2012-13 season this Friday at home against East Tennessee State.  Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m. (EST).

    Boynton Injury Throws a Scare at Gators in Win Over Savannah State

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. - At 8:23 p.m. Tuesday, the O’Connell Center became this city’s largest church.

    Florida senior guard Kenny Boynton lay face-down on the court, his face writhing in pain after rolling his left ankle on a drive to the basket. An eery silence hushed over the dome, and you just know a couple fans sent requests skyward.

    Teammates included.

    “I was praying he was OK,” Gators senior guard Mike Rosario said.

    Boynton suffered an ankle sprain on the play about midway through the second half and did not return to the game. He could have come back if the seventh-ranked Gators absolutely needed him, but that wasn’t the case in 58-40 defeat of Savannah State before 7,323 at the O’Dome.

    “I’ve done it so many times to the same ankle, so I knew exactly what it was,” Boynton said. “It hurt really bad at first and when I got up I knew it was serious enough.”

    Enough to likely sideline Boynton from practice today. If that sounds like no big deal, consider the shooter-turned-point guard and school’s No. 6 all-time scorer has never missed a practice in his UF career.

    Not one.

    Coach Billy Donovan expects to have Boynton when the Gators (4-0) face UCF on Friday.

    “We’ve had to deal with a lot of stuff these first three or four games,” Donovan said.

    Florida has had a starter suspended, a key reserve injured and even had a game on a battleship cancelled at halftime, but one constant throughout the chaos has been defense. The Gators slapped more of the same on the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champs.

    Junior center Patric Young scored 13 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked a career-high six shots for a UF team that held the Tigers (3-3) to just four points on 2-for-19 shooting through nearly the game’s first 17 minutes. Good thing, too, as the Gators didn’t bring their collective shooting eye (30.8 percent in the first half; 35.4 for the game) and only led 24-6 when SSU guard Cedric Smith (11 points, 6 rebounds) scored his team’s third field goal.

    Smith’s basket started a 13-4 run by the Tigers that extended into the second half and actually cut UF’s lead to just 12 points before Rosario (13 points, 3 assists, 2 steals) buried back-to-back 3-pointers that started a 16-2 run that built the lead to 24.

    “Offensively, we were not great at all,” Donovan said. “If we did not defend like we did the entire game we would have been in a dogfight.”

    Florida made just 17 field goals and turned the ball over 13 times, but the defense countered by forcing 20 turnovers and limiting the Tigers to just four 3-point attempts.

    “Our guys came out timid early,” Savannah State coach Horace Broadnax said. “We couldn’t make shots.”

    The Gators weren’t that much better, scoring 16 points fewer than their early season average. Then again, they didn't have their leading scorer for a big chunk of the game.

    Boynton hit just one of his six field-goal attempts for five points before being helped off the court. He went to the locker room, then came back to the bench -- just in case.

    He limped out of the arena about an hour later, but did so smiling.

    “I just need to ice it and get treatment on it [Wednesday],” he said. “It’s nothing that’s going to be long.”

    What a relief.

    To Boynton and a lot of other people.

    “KB never gets hurt, so it was tough to see him down like that,” junior forward Will Yeguete said. “Everybody just sort of stopped doing everything ‘cause he wouldn’t get up -- and KB always gets up. It was best for us that he just rested.”

    Ole Miss Cruises To Win Over McNeese State

    OXFORD, Miss. - Reginald Buckner, Murphy Holloway and Nick Williams all scored in double figures as Ole Miss beat McNeese State, 76-50 on Tuesday in Oxford.

    Holloway had 15 points and nine rebounds, Buckner had 11 points and seven boards, while Williams added 10 points for the Rebels.

    Ole Miss led by only nine at halftime, 39-30. But the Rebels (4-0) outscored McNeese State 37-20 in the second half.

    LSU Fends Off Northwestern State, 102-95

    BATON ROUGE, La. - The LSU men's basketball team turned away a late Northwestern State rally and picked up a 102-95 victory Tuesday at the Maravich Center.

    LSU (3-0) buried 32-of-66 from the field en route to a 48.5 percent shooting clip, while Northwestern State (3-1) tallied a 32-of-65 shooting effort to claim a 49.2 percent ratio.

    The last time the Tigers eclipsed the century mark was versus Nicholls State back on Nov. 21, 2005 as all 10 LSU players who saw action scored a point.   

    LSU had four players register double figure points highlighted by Shavon Coleman's 22 on 8-of-12 field goal attempts. He has now posted 20-plus points in back-to-back games. The Thibodaux native also hauled in seven rebounds.

    Anthony Hickey tacked on a career-best 21 points and equaled a career-high seven rebounds. He also distributed a team-leading six assists and added five steals.

    Charles Carmouche notched a career-high 19 points sparked by an 11-for-15 clip at the free throw line. He also handed our four assists to go along with three steals.

    Johnny O'Bryant III returned to the lineup and turned in a solid all-around performance with 13 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes of action.

    With the victory, the Tigers improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2009-10 season. LSU also moved to 17-6 all-time versus Northwestern State the last nine meetings in the series going back to the 1956-57 campaign.

    With LSU trailing 33-30 at the 4:23 mark of the first half, the Tigers ripped off a 22-5 spurt to turn the tables and grab a 52-38 advantage into the locker room. Hickey ignited the run with 10 points on a pair of three-balls.

    LSU pushed the lead out to 72-51 with 12:14 remaining in the second half as Malik Morgan's lay-up from Corban Collins. Morgan posted all six of his points during the second stanza and registered five steals.

    NSU didn't go away and responded with a flurry of its own. The Demons pulled within four, at 90-86, on a DeQuan Hicks lay-up with 1:56 to go.

    Out of the timeout and 10 seconds later, Eddie Ludwig provided his only basket of the game off a press breaker. LSU struggled at the foul line for most of the game but knocked 10-of-14 at the charity stripe over the final 91 seconds of the game.

    Northwestern State was fueled by James Hulbin and DeQuan Hicks who ripped off 29 and 28 points, respectively.

    LSU continues its six-game homestand to start the 2012-13 campaign Saturday against Mississippi Valley State. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. from the Maravich Center, and the game will be carried live on Cox Sports Television. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at (225) 578-2184.

    The LSU Sports Radio Network also will broadcast the game on Eagle 98.1 FM in the Baton Rouge area and inside the Geaux Zone at Jim Hawthorne, Ricky Blanton and Kevin Ford will call the action.