By Tim Letcher
SEC Digital Network
The third week of the 2012-13 SEC basketball season is complete, and the conference keeps making news in non-conference games. Here's a look back at last week and a look ahead to this week's hoops action.
What We Saw
Georgia held a 30-29 lead over top-ranked Indiana at the half, but the Bulldogs could not hold on, falling 66-53 in the semifinals of the Legends Classic at the Barclays Center on Monday. Vincent Williams and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each scored 14 points for Georgia.
On Tuesday, Georgia again held the lead over a ranked team at halftime. But 11th-ranked UCLA rallied in the second half to win 60-56. Caldwell-Pope had 16 points to lead Georgia.
Georgia was able to notch a win on Friday, beating East Tennessee State, 54-38. A 21-2 run in the first half provided a nice cushion for the Dawgs. Caldwell-Pope was again the leading scorer, this time with 13 points.
Texas A&M lost to St. Louis, 70-49 in the semifinals of the CBE Classic on Monday. Elston Turner led the Aggies with 16 points.
On Tuesday night, A&M bounced back with a 55-54 win over Washington State. Elston Turner hit a three-pointer with two seconds remaining to lift the Aggies past the Cougars.
Mississippi State ran into a powder blue buzzsaw on Monday, losing to North Carolina 95-49 in the Maui Invitational. The Tar Heels hit 15 three-pointers in the win. Roquez Johnson had 12 points to lead MSU.
Mississippi State lost its second game in Maui, falling to Marquette 89-62 on Tuesday. Turnovers and poor shooting hampered the Bulldogs in the game.
In the seventh place game in Maui, Mississippi State fought hard, but could not overcome Texas, losing 69-55. Roquez Johnson had 18 points to lead MSU.
South Carolina moved to 3-0 with an 88-76 win over Rider on Monday. Brenton Williams had 22 points, four rebounds and four assists, all career highs, for the Gamecocks.
However, the Gamecocks suffered their first loss on Wednesday night, 65-53 to Elon. Senior Lakeem Jackson had 14 points and 10 rebounds for South Carolina.
South Carolina was able to bounce back on Saturday, topping Missouri State 74-67 in overtime. Michael Carrera hit a three-pointer to tie the game at the end of regulation, and the Gamecocks pulled away in the extra stanza.
On Sunday, South Carolina claimed the title at the Hoops for Hope Classic, beating UALR 74-62. Jackson had a double-double with 10 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
Arkansas moved to 3-0 with an 89-60 thumping of Florida A&M on Tuesday. Marshawn Powell had 21 points for the Razorbacks in the win.
The Hogs weren't so lucky on Friday night, falling to Arizona State 83-68 in Las Vegas. B.J. Young led Arkansas with 29 points.
On Saturday, Arkansas lost to No. 24 Wisconsin, 77-70. Young had 18 points in the loss.
Florida got a scare in its 58-40 win over Savannah State on Tuesday, when Kenny Boynton turned an ankle and did not return to the game. Patric Young had a big night for the Gators, with 12 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks.
Boynton proved that his ankle was fine on Friday, as he scored 24 points, leading the Gators past Central Florida, 79-66 in Gainesville. Scottie Wilbekin had 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
Ole Miss used its experience to beat McNeese State on Tuesday. Seniors Reginald Buckner, Murphy Holloway and Nick Williams each scored in double figures as the Rebels moved to 4-0 with a 76-50 win on Tuesday in Oxford.
The Rebels won again on Friday, topping Lipscomb 91-45. Holloway had a season-high 23 points, and Williams added 14 as Ole Miss moved to 5-0.
For his efforts during the week, Holloway was named SEC Player of the Week by the league office on Monday.
LSU scored eclipsed the century mark on Tuesday, beating Northwestern State 102-95 in Baton Rouge. It was the first time an LSU had scored more than 100 points since November 21, 2005, when LSU beat Nicholls State.
The Tigers had an easier time on Saturday, beating Mississippi Valley State 75-50 at the PMAC. Shavon Coleman had 16 points and Andre Stringer added 14.
Auburn dropped a heartbreaker at Boston College on Wednesday night. Trailing 50-49 with just seconds left, Frankie Sullivan launched a three-pointer that came up short, giving the Eagles the victory. Sullivan finished with 23 points and eight rebounds for Auburn in the loss.
In similar fashion, Auburn lost another tough game on Sunday. Rhode Island downed the Tigers 78-72 in double overtime.
Kentucky beat Morehead State, 81-70 on Wednesday night in a tougher-than-expected game. The Eagles assembled a 16-0 run in the first half, then hung around for much of the second half before the Wildcats finally put them away. Alex Poythress had 20 points for the Big Blue.
On Friday night, Kentucky shot 67.7 percent from the floor, beating LIU-Brooklyn 104-75. Poythress and Archie Goodwin each had 22 points for the 'Cats.
On Thanksgiving Day, Missouri held off Stanford, 78-70 in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in Nassau. Laurence Bowers had 19 points and Phil Pressey added 18.
The following night, Missouri fell to Louisville, 84-61 in the seminfinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Pressey and Alex Oriakhi each had 15 points for Mizzou.
Missouri rebounded with a win on Saturday, topping VCU 68-65 to claim third place in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Bowers was again the high man, this time with 14 points. He added 11 rebounds.
Vanderbilt fell to Davidson, 75-62 at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando on Thanksgiving Day. Kedren Johnson had 28 points for Vandy in the loss.
On Friday, Vanderbilt suffered through a miserable shooting day, hitting only 23 percent of its shots in a 50-33 loss to Marist. James Siakam had eight points to lead Vandy in the game.
Vanderbilt took care of UTEP on Sunday, winning 73-49. Johnson had 17 points and Rod Odom added 16 for the Commodores, who raised their record to 2-3.
Alabama stayed unbeaten on Friday night (5-0), beating Charleston Southern, 59-46. Trevor Releford stayed hot, scoring 22 points for the Tide.
What We'll See
The SEC/Big East Challenge offers several appetizing games. Those include:
No. 8 Kentucky at Notre Dame (Thursday)
Marquette at No. 7 Florida (Thursday)
Tennessee at No. 25 Georgetown (Friday)
No. 5 Syracuse at Arkansas (Friday)
Alabama at No. 16 Cincinnati (Saturday)
On Saturday, Kentucky hosts Baylor in a rematch of last year's Elite Eight matchup.
South Carolina hosts intrastate rival Clemson on Sunday in Columbia.
Freshman Jordan Price scored a career-high 19 points, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, in Auburn's loss to Rhode Island on Sunday.
Fred Thomas scored 17 points for Mississippi State in the 89-62 loss to Marquette on Tuesday. The true freshman hit four-of-eight from three-point range in the game.
Charles Carmouche had 19 points, including 11-of-15 from the line, as LSU topped Northwestern State. The 19 points were a career high for Carmouche.
Archie Goodwin scored a career-high 28 points in Kentucky's 81-70 win over Morehead State on Wednesday. Goodwin hit eight-of-13 from the field and 12-of-17 from the line in the game. On Friday, Goodwin nearly had a triple double, finishing with 22 points, nine rebounds and nine assists against LIU-Brooklyn. Goodwin earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Monday.
Alabama freshman Devonta Pollard had career highs with nine points and seven rebounds in Friday's win over Charleston Southern.
They said it
"The second half is when you put the team away," said Missouri forward Laurence Bowers, after he scored 13 of his 19 points in the second stanza, lifting the Tigers past Stanford on Thanksgiving Day.