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    SEC Basketball Update

    Alabama Crimson Tide
    OVERALL: 6-2 (4-1 H, 0-1 A, 2-0 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    Alabama dropped its second straight game since beginning the year with a 6-0 mark, falling on a buzzer beater at No. 11 Cincinnati, 58-56, on Dec. 1 and to Dayton, 81-76, in Tuscaloosa Wednesday night. The Crimson Tide will now have 10 days between games, as it will next be in action on Saturday, Dec. 15, when UA travels to Richmond, Va., to square off with VCU. That contest will tip off at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET) and will be televised on CBS College Sports Network. Alabama and VCU  will square off for the fifth time in series history, on Dec. 15. This will mark the second consecutive season the two teams will meet on the hardwood. Last year, the Crimson Tide defeated the Rams, 72-64, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. UA has never lost to VCU, owning a 4-0 advantage in the all-time series. The Dayton contest marked Alabama’s only home game in the first three weeks of December. UA doesn’t return home to Coleman Coliseum until Dec. 22 when it takes on the Mercer Bears. Dayton's 81 points on the Wednesday night marked the most point scored by any Alabama opponent this season. It is the fifth time during the Anthony Grant-era that a team has scored 80 or more points in a game, and the first time it has occurred in Coleman Coliseum during Grant’s four seasons in Tuscaloosa. The last time that the Tide allowed a visiting team to score 80 points in Coleman Coliseum came on Feb. 21, 2009, when the Tide defeated Mississippi State, 87-85, in double overtime. The last time The Tide gave up 80 or more points in a losing effort occurred on Dec. 13, 2008 in an 86-78 overtime defeat to Texas A&M. Additionally, the last time Alabama allowed a team to score over 80 points in regulation and lose came on Jan. 29, 2008 when Tennessee defeated UA, 93-86. The loss to the Flyers marked the 10th time in 56 games that an Anthony Grant team has lost at Coleman Coliseum (46-10). It was also the first home defeat this season (4-1) and just the fourth defeat under Coleman Coliseum's arched roof in the last 40 contests (36-4).

    Arkansas Razorbacks
    OVERALL: 4-4 (4-1 H, 0-1 A, 0-2 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    The Razorbacks were 1-1 on the week with a victory over Oklahoma, 81-78, and a loss at No. 3/3 Michigan, 80-67. Marshawn Powell was Arkansas’ leading scorer in both games (33, 18) and for the week averaged 25.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while hitting 55.9 percent from the floor and 60 percent from three. Powell’s 33 points in the game against Oklahoma were a career high as were his four three-point baskets. Powell became the first Razorback since February to score 30-plus points in a game and was the first Arkansas player since the 2011 season to hit for at least 33. Kikko Haydar came off the bench in the Michigan game to score a career high 13 points, he was 4-of-4 from three-point range and set career highs for minutes, field goals made, field goals attempted, three-pointers made, three-pointers attempted and offensive rebounds. Haydar went 5-of-5 from three for the week. Hunter Mickelson notched four blocks on the week, two in each game and has blocked shots in three straight contests and five of the last six to bring his career total to 81 making him the 13th Razorback player to block 80 shots in a career. Mardracus Wade was 3-of-7 (.429) from three-point range on the week after opening the year 4-14 (.286), Wade led the SEC in three-point percentage as a sophomore at 47.6 percent. As a team Arkansas forced Oklahoma and Michigan to commit 29 turnovers which led to 34 Razorback points. For the year, Arkansas has forced 140 turnovers (17.5 per game) and have a +6.6 turnover margin. Arkansas has turned those 140 turnovers into 184 points on the year for an average of 23.0 per game. Arkansas takes a break for finals this week before heading back to the court on Saturday, Dec. 15, when it hosts Alcorn State at Bud Walton Arena.

    Auburn Tigers
    OVERALL: 2-5 (1-2 H, 1-1 A, 0-2 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    This is the fifth meeting between the Tigers with Auburn winning the previous four games. Three of the wins came in Auburn with the most recent being a 63-45 victory on Dec. 31, 2010. The neutral site victory came in a 105-56 thrashing in Huntsville on Nov. 29, 2003. Auburn head coach Tony Barbee is 1-0 coaching against Grambling State with the win coming in a 63-45 victory on Dec. 31, 2010, in Auburn Arena. Auburn will have a 10-day layoff between games following the DePaul loss on Nov. 30  for final exams. Auburn returns for four home games in 11 days leading up to the holidays beginning with Grambling State on Dec. 11, Furman on Dec. 15, Tennessee Tech on Dec. 18 and Winthrop on Dec. 22. Auburn is 22-0 all-time against SWAC teams. Frankie Sullivan leads the SEC averaging 19.7 points per game and that is without playing the final 15:13 of the game vs. Murray  State when he ran after a loose ball and crashed into the scorer's table and suffered a cut on his shooting arm that required 20 stitches. He only had seven points vs. the Racers. Sullivan has scored more than 20 points in five of Auburn's games this season, including a career-high 28 points vs. DePaul on Nov. 30 on 4-of-7 three-point shooting. A game after the injury playing with a wrap on his shooting arm, Sullivan scored a game-high 24 points, including 20 in the second half, in the 55-51 win over College of Charleston in the Charleston Classic. Sullivan went 9-of-18 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point range to go along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sullivan scored a game-high 23 points and had five assists vs. Dayton on Nov. 18. The Uniontown, Ala., native had a game-high 23 points for the second straight game at Boston College, where he scored 15 in the second half, including 11 of the team's first points in the period.

    Florida Gators
    OVERALL: 7-0 (5-0 H, 1-0 A, 1-0 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    The University of Florida men’s basketball improved to 7-0 on the season with a 72-47 victory at Florida State on Wednesday, December 5. In their first true road game of the year, Florida dealt their in-state rival the most-lopsided defeat in series history in games played in Tallahassee. Senior guards Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario scored 14 points each to lead the Gators. Boynton moved into fifth place on UF’s career scoring list with his first three points of the night, as well. Junior Patric Young added 10 points and eight rebounds, his fourth consecutive game scoring in double figures. Freshman Michael Frazier II registered 12 points, all in the second half. As a team, Florida recorded 14 steals, which marks the most this season. Junior Scottie Wilbekin recorded five steals, a career-best. In addition, for the fifth time this season, UF never trailed against its opponent. For the third-straight week, Florida will play one game. The Gators will travel west as they take on No. 8 Arizona on Saturday, December 15 in Tucson, Ariz. This will mark the second time this season UF takes on an opponent ranked in top-25 and the first game against a top-10 opponent.

    Georgia Bulldogs
    OVERALL: 2-6 (2-2 H, 0-2 A, 0-2 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    Georgia pulled to within five points with just two minutes remaining in the game, but the late Bulldog run wasn’t enough to defeat Georgia Tech as the Yellow Jackets were victorious 62-54 Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion. Georgia constructed a 10-3 run late in the second half to trail 55-50, but the Yellow Jackets’ senior guard Mfon Udofia completed a three-point play to end the Bulldog run and put the game out of reach. Georgia was led sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who had 16 points and 13 rebounds in his first double-double performance of his career. Freshman guard Brandon Morris came off the bench to contribute nine points and four rebounds, both career-highs. The Yellow Jackets took a 35-22 lead into halftime behind six three-point shots and 11 free throws. Georgia connected on just one-of-nine three-pointers and went only three-of-five from the free throw stripe in the half. Georgia out rebounded (43-to-38) and outscored the Yellow Jackets from the paint (30-to-10), but Georgia Tech connected on nine three-point shots on the night, while Georgia shot just 2-of-17 from the behind the arc. Georgia Tech was paced offensively by Udofia and freshman forward Marcus Georges-Hunt and who had 12 and 18 points, respectively. Junior Center Daniel Miller led the Yellow Jackets with eight rebounds. Following a break for final exams, Georgia will return to action on Dec. 15 against the Iona Gaels at Stegeman Coliseum.

    Kentucky Wildcats
    OVERALL: 6-3 (5-1 H, 0-1 A, 1-1 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    The Kentucky men’s basketball team secured a pair of non-conference home victories this week with wins over Samford on Tuesday and Portland on Saturday. It was the third-straight year UK had met the Pilots in regular-season action with the Blue and White winning all three meetings. Freshman Willie Cauley-Stein sparked the win over Samford with the first double-double of the year for the Cats. Cauley-Stein logged 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in that win. Against Portland the Wildcats were spearheaded by the best performance of the season from sophomore Ryan Harrow who had season-highs with 10 points, four rebounds and six assists. Freshmen Archie Goodwin and Nerlens Noel provided consistent performances yet again for UK. Goodwin led the team in scoring in both outings and logged four assists in both games to run his total to six-straight games with four or more dimes. Noel had seven points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven blocks against Portland. He had 12 swats on the weekend for an average of 6.0 per game. Kentucky will take a week off for exams before welcoming Lipscomb to Rupp Arena on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

    LSU Tigers
    OVERALL: 5-0 (5-0 H, 0-0 A, 0-0 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    The Tigers return to play after a long final exam break with a Tuesday night game against Chattanooga. LSU enters the game 5-0 and one of 14 D1 teams that remain undefeated entering the week. Following the Chattanooga game, LSU embarks on a three-game road trip, all the back half of home-and-home sets that LSU won at the Maravich Center a year ago. LSU plays at Boise on Dec. 14, UC-Irvine on Dec. 18 and Marquette on Dec. 22. The Marquette game will be televised by ESPNU. LSU won its SEC-Big East Challenge games for the second straight year in its last outing on Nov. 29, coming from 16-points down in the final 16:39 to win 72-67 over Seton Hall at the Maravich Center. The Tigers got 18 points from Shavon Coleman off the bench, while Johnny O’Bryant III had his second straight double double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Anthony Hickey and Andre Stringer had 10 points each. Charles Carmouche had 7 assists and four steals. LSU trailed 35-27 at the half and was outscored 13-5 to open the half to trail, 48-32 at the 16:39 mark. LSU would outscored the Pirates, 40-19, the rest of the way. LSU last year defeated Rutgers in New Jersey in the Challenge.

    Ole Miss Rebels
    OVERALL: 6-1 (6-0 H, 0-1 A, 0-0 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    Ole Miss dropped its first game of the season on Saturday 65-62 at Middle Tennessee. Junior Marshall Henderson led the Rebels with a game-high 17 points including 15 in the second half. Ole Miss, which led the nation in turnover margin coming into to the game committed a season-high 18 turnovers in the contest. Ole Miss continues to lead the conference in scoring (83.4 ppg) and ranks second in field goal percentage defense (.354). Senior Murphy Holloway also leads the league in rebounding at 10.1 rpg while Henderson ranks first in 3-point FG made (3.7 pg). This week the Rebels will host East Tennessee State on Friday in Oxford as part of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic and look to extend their home-winning streak to seven game to start the year.

    Mississippi State Bulldogs
    OVERALL: 3-5 (3-0 H, 0-2 A, 0-3 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    Mississippi State and Loyola are meeting for just the second time and the first time in Chicago. The first meeting was 50 years ago at the NCAA Tournament in East Lansing, Mich., with the Ramblers winning 61-51 in the opening round en route to winning the national championship. The 1963 game marked the first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history for MSU. MSU is 4-3 all-time against Horizon League foes, with the last meeting coming at Detroit a year ago. The Bulldogs won, 80-75. Against Texas-San Antonio, senior forward Wendell Lewis scored a career-high 20 points, a performance that came one game after he recorded a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) at Providence. Against the Roadrunners, Lewis connected on 8 of his 9 field goals (.889), the best shooting percentage since Rodney Hood was 8 of 9 last year against UT-Martin. Prior to that, the highest percentage (with 8 minimum attempts) was Jarvis Varnado’s 8-of-8 outing in the season opener against Rider on 11-13-09. Against UTSA, MSU allowed just 42 points and just 15 made field goals, the fewest since yielding the same marks earlier this year against Alcorn State. The Bulldogs’ bench has proven to be quite productive this year, as it’s averaging 20.3 points an outing. When leading at the half, MSU is 3-0 on the year. Fred Thomas’ 11.1 scoring average currently ranks 8th all-time in the freshman record books.

    MISSOURI TIGERS
    OVERALL: 8-1 (6-0 H, 0-0 A, 2-1 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    Mizzou improved to 8-1 on the season to mark the third consecutive season and fourth time in five years the Tigers started the year 8-1. The win improved Mizzou's consecutive non-conference home game win streak to 71, dating back to early in the 2005-06 season. The Tigers are now 14-0 in home non-conference games under Head Coach Frank Haith. All 14 of the victories have been by double figures. Mizzou is in the midst of a 23-game winning streak in the month of December. The Tigers have not lost in December since Dec. 9, 2009. That streak in December is the second longest in college basketball. Tennessee State's 38 points were the fewest the Tigers have allowed since a 87-36 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 12, 2009. The Tigers grabbed 52 rebounds in the contest to mark the eighth time in nine games Mizzou has at least 40 in a game and the third time they had at least 50. The Tigers entered the game ranked fourth nationally with 45.0 rebounds per contest. Mizzou held Tennessee State to 38 points on 23.8 percent (15-63) shooting from the floor, both season lows for Tiger opponents.

    South Carolina Gamecocks
    OVERALL: 6-3 (4-2 H, 0-1 A, 2-0 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    South Carolina snapped a two-game losing streak with a 91-74 victory vs. Jacksonville last Friday in the final contest before a 12-day break for final exams.  Carolina shot a stellar 55.4 percent (31-56) from the floor in the contest, holding the Dolphins to just 38.2 percent (26-68), including just 15 percent (3-20) from 3-point range.  The Gamecocks hit 62 percent (10-16) from beyond the arc, paced by junior guard Brian Richardson with a perfect 4-of-4 effort, and junior guard Brenton Williams adding four 3s as well.  Carolina continued its streak of out-rebounding opponents, holding a 42-31 advantage on the boards in the contest.  Freshman forward Michael Carrera was just one rebound shy of his third double-double of the season with a team-best 17 points and nine rebounds, all on the defensive glass. Junior guard Eric Smith matched a career high with seven assists in the contest, while committing just one turnover in 24 minutes played.  South Carolina will be back in action on Dec. 19 when it hosts Appalachian State.  

    Tennessee Volunteers
    OVERALL: 4-3 (2-0 H, 0-2 A, 2-1 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    The Tennessee Volunteers (4-3) suffered a 46-38 setback at Virginia last week, giving the Big Orange their first back-to-back losses of the season. After consecutive road games against the Cavaliers and the Georgetown Hoyas (37-36 loss on Nov. 30), UT now hunkers down for a six-game homestand that stretches into early January. That homestand begins Thursday when the Vols host undefeated and 24th-ranked Wichita State (9-0) at Thompson-Boling Arena (7 p.m. ET, FOX Sports South). Sophomore forward Jarnell Stokes continues to lead the Vols in both scoring (11.9 ppg), rebounding (7.9 rpg) and field-goal percentage (.561). Junior point guard Trae Golden averages 11.6 points and 4.6 assists per game. As a team, Tennessee is shooting .422 from the field, .302 from 3-point range and .628 from the free-throw line. The Vols own a +4.4 scoring margin, a +4.9 rebounding margin and have held their last three opponents to an average of 44.3 points per game. Tennessee’s bench has outscored its opponent’s bench in each of the last six games. Senior guard Skylar McBee was honored by his high school Saturday, as Grainger High School in McBee’s hometown of Rutledge, Tenn., retired his No. 4 jersey. McBee scored 2,362 points during his prep career. This is Fall Semester finals week at UT.

    TEXAS A&M AGGIES
    OVERALL: 7-1 (5-0 H, 1-0 A, 1-1 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    The Aggies won their fourth straight contest last Wednesday, defeating previously unbeaten Stephen F. Austin 62-54 to improve to 7-1 on the season. Texas A&M continued its dominance of non-conference opponents at Reed Arena, where it is 105-10 (.913) against non-league foes since 1998. The Aggie bench outscored its SFA counterparts by the count of 31-6 and were led by freshman guard J’Mychal Reese who tied a career high with 15 points in the win by going 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.  Senior forward Ray Turner also chipped in 15 points, marking the 25th time during his four-year A&M career he’s hit the double-figure mark in scoring. The Aggies’ leading scorer, senior guard Elston Turner, missed time during the first half with an ankle injury, but returned to score eight second half points to give him 10 for the game, extending his double-digit scoring streak to eight games. Following the SFA game, the Aggie took a 10-day layoff while its student-athletes took final exams. A&M’s next contest will come on Dec. 15 when it travels to Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena to face Oklahoma during the All-College Classic. The match-up with the Sooners will be the first scheduled regular season match-up between an A&M team and a school from the Big 12 Conference since the Aggies left the league for the SEC this summer.

    Vanderbilt Commodores
    OVERALL: 3-4 (0-1 H, 1-1 A, 1-2 N)
    SEC: 0-0 (0-0 H, 0-0 A)

    The Commodores improved to 3-4 on the season with a 66-64 overtime win at Xavier on December 6. The Commodores won their first ever game against Xavier and are now 1-5 all time against the Musketeers. Vanderbilt is now 1-2 all-time in games played at Xavier. The win over Xavier was Vanderbilt's first true road win of the season, and the first overtime win in their last seven tries.  The Commodores' last overtime win before the Xavier win was a 96-94 win over Georgia on February 25, 2010, at Memorial Gym, and the last overtime win on the road since December 12, 2007, when the Commodores defeated DePaul, 91-85, at Allstate Arena. Vanderbilt junior guard Kyle Fuller scored a career-high 25 points and scored all 12 of the Commodores' points in overtime.  He also added five assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Fuller's 25-point effort was Vanderbilt's third 25+-point individual game of the season.  Kedren Johnson has the other two (25 vs. Nicholls State, 28 vs. Davidson). Sophomore guard Kedren Johnson scored 19 points, the sixth time in seven games this season he has scored in double figures.  Johnson added four rebounds, four steals, three assists, and two blocks in 41 minutes. Freshman wing Kevin Bright notched his second consecutive double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.  Bright is the first Commodore to tally consecutive double-doubles since Festus Ezeli (at Alabama, 1/19/2012; vs. MIss. State, 1/22/2012).  He's the first freshman to have consecutive double-doubles since A.J. Ogilvy in 2007. The score was tied five times and the lead changed seven times.  Vanderbilt's largest lead came at four with 1:10 to go in overtime, and the Commodores had a lead of 10-9 early in the first half and did not regain the lead again until overtime. The Commodores trailed by as many as 13 points early in the second half.