BATON ROUGE, La. – It took more than a full 40 minutes to settle things between South Carolina and LSU at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Wednesday night, but the Gamecocks took full advantage of the five-minute overtime period to escape with an 82-73 win.
Lakeem Jackson scored in double figures for USC in a starting role, but it was two reserve players that stole the show for the Gamecocks in Baton Rouge. Michael Carrera knocked down seven of his 10 shots off the bench on his way to a game high 23 points while rounding out the double-double performance with 10 rebounds. Brenton Williams also made waves in relief duty notching 16 points in 36 minutes. Jackson finished the night with 11 points and 11 boards while Bruce Ellington had seven points.
Anthony Hickey led the way offensively for LSU (9-5, 0-3) with a team-high 18 points to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Charles Carmouche added 13 for the Tigers, with Johnny O’Bryant III and Andre Stringer chipping in nine apiece. LSU shot 40.6 percent as a team, but 21 turnovers ultimately turned out to be too much to overcome.
South Carolina will go for its second SEC win on Saturday when it hosts Vanderbilt, while LSU will host Georgia on the same day.
Arkansas Takes Down Auburn in 2OT
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas and Auburn battled four 40 minutes and then some on Wednesday night, with the Razorbacks (11-5, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) needing two overtime periods to put away Auburn by a final score of 88-80.
After the first overtime ended without settling the outcome, Arkansas opened up the second extra period with a four-point run. After Auburn’s Frankie Sullivan hit the second of two free throws with 58 seconds remaining, the Hogs held an 81-78 lead over the Tigers (8-8, 2-1). Arkansas guard BJ Young, who played 47 out of 50 minutes on the night, then drilled a 3-pointer to give the Razorbacks a six-point cushion with less than 30 seconds to play, and they hung on from there.
Young finished the evening with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting while also chipping in six rebounds and five assists. Marshawn Powell led all scorers with 28 points and added 11 boards to complete the double-double. Marcus Wade provided a boost off the bench with 12 points in 35 minutes, and the Hogs finished the night with a solid 45.5-percent shooting percentage.
Despite the loss, Auburn shot an even better percentage (50 percent). The Tigers hit 31-of-62 shots on the night, including 11-of-25 from beyond 3-point range. Frankie Sullivan knocked down five threes on his way to a team-best 26 points and nine rebounds. Center Rob Chubb added 12 points and 11 boards in the losing effort, with Auburn turning the ball over 10 times more than Arkansas.
Arkansas will travel to Ole Miss this Saturday for its next contest, while Auburn will host SEC Eastern Division foe Kentucky the same afternoon.
Alabama Wins Big on the Road
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Alabama took an eight-point lead into half against Mississippi State on Wednesday night and turned it into a 32 point win on the road, downing the Bulldogs 75-43.
After the first half ended at 30-22, the Crimson Tide (10-6, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) exploded in the second half for 45 points while suffocating the Bulldogs defensively to pull away. Mississippi State (8-9, 2-1) only managed 21 points in the final 20 minutes at Humphrey Coliseum and ultimately suffered its first SEC loss of the year.
The Tide received a balanced effort on the night, with Levi Randolph leading the way with 18 points and eight rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. Nick Jacobs added 16 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in the win, while Rodney Cooper dropped in 17 points of his own. Trevor Lacey scored 11 on the night while dishing out six assists and the Crimson Tide shot 53 percent as a team.
Mississippi State did not fare as well.
The Bulldogs were limited to 36.4 percent shooting from the floor by Alabama, including only 27 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Fred Thomas was MSU’s leading scorer on the night with 10 points.
Alabama will return to the court Saturday against Texas A&M, while Mississippi State will host travel to Tennessee.