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    Saturday SEC Hoops Report

    sec men's basketball RESULTS
    Tennessee 88,  Kentucky 58
    Florida 83,  Auburn 52
    Arkansas 73,  Missouri 71
    Alabama 68,  South Carolina 58
    LSU 80,  Mississippi State 68
    Vanderbilt 63,  Texas A&M 56
    Ole Miss 84,  Georgia 74


    Tennessee Wins Big Over Kentucky, 88-58

    KNOXVILLE Tenn. -- Tennessee posted its largest win ever against Kentucky with a 88-58 dismantling of the defending national champions before a sold-out Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday.

    Tennessee (14-10 overall) won its third game in a row and evened its record in the SEC at 6-6. Kentucky, playing without freshman standout Nerlens Noel, fell to 17-8 overall and 8-4 in the league.

    Junior guard Trae Golden poured in SEC career-high with 24 and handed out eight assists. Golden was 11-of-12 from the foul line. Junior Jordan McRae scored 15 and Kenny Hall, who sat out last game, returned with 12 points.

    Sophomore Jarnell Stokes fell short of his seventh consecutive double-double as he finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

    For the Vols, the 88 points were their most of the season, surpassing 83 vs. UMass on Nov. 18, 2012.

    The previous largest of victory in the series with Kentucky, which dates to 1910, was a 28-point win, 87-59 on Jan. 22, 1968.

    For Kentucky head coach John Calipari, the game marked the largest loss of his college coaching career since his first season as a head coach at UMass in 1988-89. The largest loss of Calipari's career came in an 88-55 defeat (33 points) on Feb. 16, 1989. He also lost by 31 and 30 that season.

    The Vols beat a defending national champion for the eighth time in 11 games.

    Tennessee knocked off a ranked team for the second time this season with the other win coming against No. 23 Wichita State on Dec. 13. It was also the fifth win over a ranked for the Vols under Cuonzo Martin with three coming last season. That also included a win over a defending national champion as the Vols topped UConn on Jan. 21, 2012.

    A wild first half saw the Vols build a 50-26 lead at halftime. It was the most points the Vols scored in a first half of an SEC game since Feb. 27, 2007, when they led Florida, 50-31. The +24 margin was the largest since leading LSU by +32 (50-18) on Jan. 4, 1999.

    Tennessee went on a 13-0 run over four minutes to expand its lead from 22-12 to 35-12 on a pair of Josh Richardson free throws with 7:22 eft in the first half.

    Kentucky's assistant coach John Robic was ejected from the game with 11:17 left in the first half. It came on the heels of a controversial alternate possession that happened seconds earlier.


    Gators Win Big At Auburn

    The Florida Gators won their third straight outing, using red-hot shooting to blowout Auburn 83-52 Saturday afternoon at Auburn Arena.

    Playing on the road for the first time since a loss at Arkansas on Feb. 5, the Gators (21-3, 11-1 SEC) showed no signs of the team that showed up in Fayetteville, putting Auburn (9-16, 3-9) away in much the same fashion they have dispatched many of their SEC foes this year.

    The Gators were torrid from three-point range, hitting 15-of-30-attempts (50 percent) on the day. Florida hit 57.4 percent overall on the day.

    Mike Rosario led all scorers with 22 points, hitting 9-of-14 shots. Michael Frazier had 18 points, hitting 6-of-7 three-point attempts, while Kenny Boynton had 16 points. Scottie Wilbekin dished out 10 assists as Florida had 25 assists on 31 field goals and turned the ball over just nine times.

    The Gators left little doubt in this game. Up by 15 late in the first half, the Gators closed out the opening frame on a 10-0 run to go into the locker room with a 47-22 lead. Florida led by as many as 36 points on the day.

    Florida held Auburn to just 35.7 percent from the floor and just four three-point field goals (4-16).


    Alabama Beats South Carolina, 68-58

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama men’s basketball team beat South Carolina 68-58 Saturday afternoon in Coleman Coliseum. Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey led the team with 17 points to go with two steals. The Crimson Tide, which is 14-2 when getting eight or more steals in a game, is 17-8 overall and 9-3 in the Southeastern Conference.

    “We’re excited,” UA head coach Anthony Grant said. “We’re in second place in the league by ourselves, so that’s a good position to be in. Today’s game, to me, was a game of spurts. I didn’t like the way we finished the first half, but I thought we came out in the second half and played with better energy. We built the lead back up, and obviously they cut back into it, but I thought for the most part our guys tried to do the things we asked them to do.”

    Alabama jumped out to a big lead early in the first half in large part due to a 17-2 run that put Alabama up 17-4. Alabama led by as much as 23 points, at 32-9 with 5:55 to go in the half before South Carolina was able to bring it back to a 35-24 halftime score.

    Alabama sophomore guard Rodney Cooper scored 10 points on the night, his fifth straight game in double figures. Coming off the bench, sophomore forward Nick Jacobs also had 10 points. Sophomore guard Levi Randolph tied two career highs by grabbing nine rebounds and having four steals.

    “It was good to see us play with that confidence,” Grant said. “I thought the ball movement was great and we got some shots to go down, which obviously allowed us from a defensive standpoint to get in the press and be effective, and I thought it gave us energy as well.”

    South Carolina guard Brenton Williams led the Gamecocks with 14 points and had four steals.  

    Razorbacks Cage Tigers; Defense Comes Up Big

    FAYETTEVILLE –  Led by a 24-point performance by junior Marshawn Powell the University of Arkansas basketball team defeated the Missouri Tigers, 73-71, in a game that went down to the final seconds and took heroics by sophomore BJ Young to give Arkansas the victory. The Razorbacks trailed 71-69 with 19 seconds on the clock as Young scored a layup and was fouled on the way up, knocking down the free shot to put Arkansas up for good.  

    “It was a gut check for our basketball team,” head coach Mike Anderson said. “Missouri is a good team. It was an emotional game and a heck of a ball game. Our guys dug down deep at the end. We did a really good job on defense.”

    Powell nabbed 24 points off 8-of-19 shooting and Young tallied 18 points with five rebounds and five assists. Junior Coty Clarke chipped in 13 points and seven boards. The Arkansas (16-9, 7-5 SEC) defense forced 17 turnovers that resulted in 18 Razorback points.

    Missouri (18-7, 7-5 SEC) got off to a swift start against the Razorbacks taking an early 9-0 lead with 15:45 on the clock. Anderson called a 30 second timeout to get the team together and on the next possession Young knocked down a big three-pointer to erupt the sold out Bud Walton Arena crowd. For the remainder of the first Arkansas would flirt with the lead, coming within one-point on several occasions. In the tail end of the first half, Clarke, who was unstoppable from the three in the first going 3-of-3, sunk his third three-pointer of the afternoon to bring Arkansas within one-point of Missouri (28-29) with 2:09 left on the clock. Arkansas would enter the locker room trailing by four, 33-29.

    Leading Arkansas in the first was Powell and Clarke, who both totaled nine points. The Razorback defense forced seven turnovers and nabbed two steals to highlight the first half.

    The Razorbacks came out strong in the second half and made fast work at the slim four-point lead held by the Tigers. The signature moment came when a steal by Clarke resulted in a crowd-erupting three-pointer by Powell to put Arkansas up 39-37. Powell would score the next five points for the Razorbacks, giving Arkansas a 44-42 lead over the Tigers. The Razorback lead would grow to as many as eight, but the Missouri offense finally started clicking again and tied things up with 4:10 left at 63.

    Missouri would take the lead, going up 65-63, however the lead was short lived as Kikko Haydar snagged a steal with Powell connecting on a layup to tie things back up. The Razorbacks and Tigers battled it out as the game came down to the final seconds when Young laid down back-to-back layups and was fouled on the way to the rim. Young scored six consecutive points to bring Arkansas back in the lead, 72-71, with 19 seconds on the clock. Young would score the final point off a free throw to give Arkansas the 73-71 lead and Missouri was forced to attempt a long three that ended up in an air ball that secured the win for Arkansas.

    “BJ stepped up and showcased what he can do,” Anderson said. “He wanted to attack the basket at the end. BJ did a good job of making shots and hitting big free throws. That’s what he does – he makes shots for us.”

    Dores Top Aggies, 63-56

    NASHVILLE, TN - Rod Odom scored 19 points and Dai-Jon Parker added a career-high 17 points to lead Vanderbilt to a 63-56 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday night.

    Parker made a personal-best five 3-pointers as the Commodores (10-14, 4-8 Southeastern Conference) won the first meeting between the schools since 1955.

    Vanderbilt used a 20-6 run spanning the first and second halves to pull away from the Aggies (15-10, 5-7). Parker followed his final 3-pointer with a nifty reverse layup for the largest lead of the game, 46-33, with 8:37 left.

    Texas A&M stormed back and closed the gap to 56-51 with 1:29 remaining. But Odom drained his career-high tying fourth 3-pointer to halt the rally.

    Josh Henderson chipped in 11 for the Commodores, who had lost five of six.

    A jumper by Henderson gave Vanderbilt what appeared to be a comfortable 56-45 lead with 3:18 to go. But the Aggies hung around. Kourtney Roberson tipped in a miss, Elston Turner followed with a jumper and a full-court press forced the Commodores into a turnover. Fabyon Harris made two free throws with 1:29 left to pull within five.

    LSU Wins Second Straight

    BATON ROUGE - The LSU men's basketball team won its second straight game to finally get back to .500 for the first time this season in league play after a wire-to-wire 80-68 win over Mississippi State Saturday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

    LSU is now 15-8 and 6-6 in the league after starting 0-4 in league play as LSU sweeps State this year and wins for the third straight time over the Bulldogs. Mississippi State is now 7-17 and 2-10.

    The Tigers, who led by as much as 20 points on a couple of occasions in the second half, has now won the first two legs of this most difficult Thursday-Saturday-Tuesday swing that concludes Tuesday night at Tennessee.

    Johnny O'Bryant III moved into solo possession of the league double double total with 11 and continued to make his case for All-SEC honors with 10 points and 11 rebounds. The sophomore forward flirted with the first triple double in over 20 years at LSU as he had eight assists. O'Bryant had just two turnovers in 36 minutes of play.

    He was one of five Tigers in double figures as Andrew Del Piero finished with a career high 13 points, his second game this season in double figures. Also with 10 points was Anthony Hickey, who had six assists and two steals, while Andre Stringer had 10 as well.

    But leading the Tigers was senior Charles Carmouche who hit 8-of-11 from the field, including a season best 5-of-8 from the three-point arc in scoring 21 points in 23 minutes.

    Craig Sword had 25 points to lead Mississippi State, hitting 9-of-14 field goals and 7-of-10 free throws with four assists. Colin Borchert had 11 points and Gavin Ware had 10 points.

    The Tigers won for the 17th straight time when shooting 50 percent or better in a game. LSU shot 54.5 percent for the night, making 30-of-55 and also 12-of-22 from the arc as LSU reached double figures in treys for the fourth time this season. LSU also had 24 assists in the game for the 30 baskets and turned the ball over just 10 times. Mississippi State only had nine turnovers, but LSU was able to get 17 points off those turnovers.

    LSU out rebounded the Bulldogs, 36-24, who also shot a good percentage of 46.4 percent (26-56), including 53.8 percent in the second half.

    The Tigers came out quickly and shooting well over 50 percent used a 6-0 run that featured a Stringer jumper, a bucket by Del Piero and an O'Bryant III lay in to build a 14-7 lead with 13:32 to go in the first half. LSU upped the margin to 19-12 three minutes later, but Mississippi State, much as it did in the first half in Starkville became the more aggressive team for a brief time.

    State came back from seven down to tie the game at 23-23 on a layup by Roquez Johnson, a three by Fred Thomas and a jumper by Ware.

    But the Tigers didn't give the lead to State, as LSU broke from a 25-25 tie to a 35-26 advantage with 2:30 to go in the first half as Del Piero with a couple of buckets, and Hickey with a three forced Mississippi State to take a second time out at 38-26 with 1:39 to play.

    LSU closed the half up, 41-28, shooting 58.6 percent from the field (17-of-29) and 55.6 percent from the arc (5-of-9).

    State came out strong at the start of the half getting a three-point play from Sword and then a layup by Thomas off an LSU turnover to immediately cut the Tiger lead to eight at 43-35. But that was as close as the Bulldogs, who fell for the 10th straight game.

    The Tigers got a dunk and a layup from Del Piero, and three pointers from Hickey and Carmouche to expand the lead to 16 points, 53-37, with 15:58 to play in the game.

    LSU, coming off an 18-point win on Thursday, tried to make it two straight big second halves opening the margin to 19, 57-38, at the 12:11 mark as Del Piero made a free throw to tie his career high of 10 points.

    The margin went to 20 twice near the midway point of the second half the first on a Shavon Coleman trey and then a layup that made it 62-42 with 10:41 to play.

    LSU also moved into double figures from the arc, the fourth time this year, LSU has had double figure treys. The Tigers with 6:21 to go hit the 70 point mark for the 14th time in the season.

    Rebels Rally To Defeat Bulldogs

    OXFORD, Miss. - Junior Marshall Henderson scored 14 points in the final 3:36 of regulation to help force overtime and Ole Miss outscored Georgia 14-4 in the extra period to knock off the Bulldogs 84-74 on Saturday.