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    Saturday SEC Hoops Report

    sec saturday basketball Results
    Florida 64,  Alabama 52
    Georgia 78,  Tennessee 68
    Missouri 89,  LSU 76
    Arkansas 73,  Kentucky 60
    Mississippi State 73,  Ole Miss 67
    Texas A&M 74,  South Carolina 56
    Vanderbilt 62,  Auburn 55

    Gators Pull Away From Bama

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Led by Casey Prather's 10 points, Florida rallied from an eight-point deficit to beat Alabama 64-52 on Saturday.

    The Gators used a 15-0 run late in the second half to pull away from the Crimson Tide and remain unbeaten at home.

    Erik Murphy led Florida (23-5, 13-3 Southeastern Conference) with 15 points. Kenny Boynton added 13, and Scottie Wilbekin chipped in 11.

    Prather led the way as Florida outscored Alabama 23-5 over the final 10 minutes.

    Trevor Releford led the Tide (19-10, 11-5) with 12 points.

    Bulldogs Get Home Win Over Vols

    ATHENS, Ga.—Charles Mann and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each scored in double figures as Georgia topped Tennessee 78-68 Saturday afternoon at Stegeman Coliseum.

    Caldwell-Pope led Georgia (14-15, 8-8) with 25 points and nine rebounds. Mann tied a career-high with 18 points. Georgia’s win snapped Tennessee’s six-game winning streak.

    “We have had four games in a row that came down to the final possession, said head coach Mark Fox. “I talked to everyone and said that everybody needs to make one more play.  Fortunately for us today. [Kenny Gaines] made a big basket in the second half.  I thought Brandon [Morris] made a big basket in the second half.  [Charles Mann] was really good in the second half.  Those three freshman were huge. This group is growing. For five or six weeks, we have had a chance to win every game. You are not going to win every game until you learn some valuable lessons. It was important for us to get back off the mat.”

    Tennessee (17-11, 9-7) started the game on a 7-0 run, but Georgia followed with a 15-4 streak to take a 15-11 lead midway through the half. With three minutes left, Sherrard Brantley hit a three-pointer to give Georgia an 11 points lead, but after a late surge by the Volunteers, Georgia took a 25-22 lead into the halftime break.

    In the second frame, back-to-back three-pointers by Caldwell-Pope and Sherrard Brantley gave the Bulldogs a 37-31 lead with 15 minutes left, but Tennessee responded with a 10-1 run to take a one-point lead.

    With just under four minutes remaining, freshmen Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines, along with Caldwell-Pope led Georgia on a 9-2 run, building a 12-point , 62-50 lead. Tennessee shrunk the lead to as few as seven, but the Bulldogs shot 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to seal the victory.

    Mizzou Picks Up Big Win Over LSU

    COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Tigers overcame an early 13-point deficit, thanks to another strong shooting day, and pulled away for an 89-76 win Saturday afternoon over the LSU Tigers at Mizzou Arena. Mizzou (21-8 overall, 10-6 in Southeastern Conference play), got an early challenge from the visiting Tigers (17-10, 8-8), who sped to a quick 25-12 lead in the first half, as they hit six three-pointers early to reverse a quick 6-0 MU run to begin the game.

    Facing the early hole, Mizzou dug in and went to its inside game, scoring 11 of the game's next 13 points to pull to within 27-23 with 6:46 left in the first half. Mizzou got a pair of close-range buckets on drives from senior guard Keion Bell, and layins from Oriakhi and Bowers in the sequence to get back in the ballgame.

    Sophomore guard Earnest Ross, who would end with 13 points off the bench, scored eight straight MU points later in the first to tie the game at 29-29, and Bell jammed back a miss by junior guard Phil Pressey to give the Tigers the lead back at 31-29 with 5:02 left. Mizzou would never trail again the rest of the way after Bell's dunk, taking a 43-39 lead into halftime.

    LSU got a short jumper from forward Johnny O'Bryant III to open the second half, but Pressey, who ended with 15 points and eight assists on the day, hit a three-pointer and a layin to push the lead back to 48-41 with 18:52 left. After LSU answered with a three-pointer by Charles Carmouche, Mizzou quickly pushed the lead to 12, highlighted by a conventional three-point play by Bowers and a dunk by Oriakhi.

    Five Mizzou players scored in double figures, led by senior forward Laurence Bowers' 23 points, while senior center Alex Oriakhi added 18 points. Both post men grabbed 10 rebounds apiece, giving them double-doubles for the sixth and 10th times this year, respectively. Their inside presence keyed a huge advantage around the basket for Mizzou, as MU owned a 52-24 edge on points in the paint Saturday.

    Mizzou shot an impressive 58.1% from the floor against LSU, connecting on 36-of-62 shots from the floor. That came just two days after Mizzou scorched the nets Thursday in a 90-68 win at South Carolina to the tune of 69.6% (32-of-46 FGs). LSU made 12 three-pointers Saturday, staying in the game thanks to their long-distance accuracy. They ended 12-of-28 from three-point range (41.9%), after making 8-of-15 threes (53.3%) in the first half.

    Arkansas scratches out Kentucky at Bud Walton

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –  Junior Coty Clarke recorded his first career double-double to lead the University of Arkansas basketball team to its biggest win over the Kentucky Wildcats at Bud Walton Arena with a 13-point victory, 73-60, in front of a sold out crowd on Saturday afternoon.

    Clarke’s double-double along with 30 Razorback points off turnovers and 20 offensive rebounds allowed Arkansas (18-11, 9-7 SEC) to take down Kentucky (20-9, 11-5 SEC) for the second consecutive time at “The Basketball Palace of Mid-America.”

    “It was a heck of an effort from our guys,” head coach Mike Anderson said. “We came out and defended well and did a good job of taking Kentucky out of what they wanted to do. Our guys gave 110 percent in effort.”

    Clarke recorded 14-points, a game-high 12 rebounds and a game-high six assists in Arkansas’ win over the Wildcats. A total of three Razorbacks finished the game in double-digits with Young contributing 13 points and Powell adding 15 with nine rebounds, just one shy of a double-double.

    “Coach emphasized defense, making the wear and tear part of the game and taking advantage of their lack of bench depth,” Clarke said. “We amped it up in the second half and we clicked defensively.”

    The Razorback defense put on a show as they forced Kentucky to a season-high 19 turnovers that resulted in the 30 points for the Hogs. Arkansas also nabbed 11 steals in the win, while also edging Kentucky on the glass 44-37.

    “Our defense was good early,” Anderson said. “In the second half we really established our identity on defense and it increased our offense. Our blue collar group got our lead up and made Kentucky exert a lot of energy.”

    In the opening minutes, the Razorbacks found themselves trailing the Wildcats by seven; however it was Clarke who jump started the offense by scoring the first four points for the Razorbacks. With a little help from the rowdy Razorback crowd the Arkansas offense began to hit its stride as Michael Qualls drained a three-pointer to put Arkansas up on the Wildcats 13-12, capping a 7-0 run. Arkansas and Kentucky would keep it close throughout the remainder of the first, with Arkansas grabbing hold of a slender three-point lead to close the first, 32-29.

    Leading the Razorbacks in the first half was Powell with seven-points and five boards. Clarke also chipped in six points and five boards. The Arkansas defense forced 11 first-half Wildcat turnovers, converting them into 13 Razorback points.

    Arkansas got off to a swift start to begin the second half as the Razorbacks strung together an 11-0 run highlighted by a three-point play by Powell, who dropped down a layup and drew a foul, to put Arkansas up 43-31. Sophomore Hunter Mickelson would come up big for the Razorbacks with a steal, notching Kentucky’s 18th turnover of the game, and following it with a dunk to send everyone in Bud Walton Arena to their feet, 59-45.

    The Razorback defense consumed the Wildcats as Kentucky attempted just eight field goals in the first 14:30 in the second half. Arkansas would keep up the momentum and keep Kentucky out of reach, closing out the game 73-60.

    The Razorbacks’ 13-point victory margin was the largest by a Razorback team against Kentucky at Bud Walton Arena and Arkansas improved to 15-1 at Bud Walton Arena this season.

    Mississippi State Shocks Ole Miss, 73-67

    STARKVILLE, Miss. - At some point, the streak was going to end. And for Mississippi State, it couldn't have come to a halt in a more sweeter fashion.
    Saturday night in front of a raucous crowd at Humphrey Coliseum, the Bulldogs ended their 13-game losing streak by turning back arch-rival Ole Miss, 73-67.

    The victory avenged a 93-75 setback to the Rebels in Oxford back in January.

    "I'm just so proud for my guys," said MSU coach Rick Ray, who earned his first victory in this heated rivalry. "They've worked so hard all year, even with the losing, and now they have something to show for their effort."

    The first half consisted of a series of runs.

    Ole Miss (21-8, 10-6) jumped out to a 5-0 lead on a dunk by Murphy Holloway, who had a game-high 22 points to go along with his 19 rebounds. However, MSU (8-20, 3-13) answered and took its first lead of the game at 7-5 on a 3-pointer by Colin Borchert, who paced his team with a career-high 21 points.

    The lead changed five times in the first 20 minutes, but with 2 minutes remaining until intermission, Borchert drained another trey for a 31-29 advantage, one the Bulldogs never relinquished.

    At the break, MSU led 34-30.

    "Hopefully, this is the type of game you can build off," Ray said.

    In the second half, the Bulldogs quickly built the lead to 7 on a 3-pointer by Craig Sword, but a dunk by Holloway closed the gap to 39-36 with 17:04 to play. From there, MSU orchestrated a 6-0 run and swelled the lead to 45-36 on a layup by Borchert.

    But Ole Miss wouldn't go down quietly.

    The Rebels slowly chipped away at the lead and pulled within 2 at 45-43 on a jumper by Jarvis Summers. But that would be as closed as Ole Miss would get.

    From that point, the Bulldogs increased the lead to 61-49 on an inside shot by Jalen Steele. The key then became free throws. And in the final 3 minutes, Mississippi State was able to secure the victory by connecting on 10 of its 12 attempts at the charity stripe.

    For the game, MSU was 27 of 37 at the free throw line, 20-of-48 shooting overall. In addition to Borchert's 21-point effort, Gavin Ware had 12 points, followed by Steele and Roquez Johnson with 10 each. Sword also dished out a career-best 9 assists.

    Ole Miss was 11 of 16 at the foul line, 25 of 74 from the field. The only other player in double digits was Marshall Henderson with 16 points on 4-of-19 shooting.

    Turner Leads Aggies Past Gamecocks

    COLLEGE STATION, TX - Elston Turner scored 28 points and Ray Turner 16 to help Texas A&M to a 74-56 win over South Carolina on Saturday night.

    The Aggies trailed by two points early in the second half before using a big run to take a 46-36 lead. South Carolina struggled for the first 10 minutes of the second half and ended up shooting just over 29-percent in the half.

    The victory broke a two-game skid for Texas A&M (17-12, 7-9), and was the ninth loss in 10 games for South Carolina (13-16, 3-13).

    Michael Carrera's 16 points led the Gamecocks and Bruce Ellington added 10 points.

    Vandy Wins At Auburn

    AUBURN, Ala. -- Vanderbilt extended its winning streak to three by defeating Auburn 62-55 Saturday night at Auburn Arena.

    Kedren Johnson finished with 16 points and eight assists for Vanderbilt (13-15, 7-9 SEC), while Kevin Bright added 14 points and eight rebounds. Josh Henderson had 11 points.

    Vanderbilt's defense bothered Auburn the entire game, especially from behind the arc where the Tigers missed 15 of 18 attempts. The Commodores built a double-digit lead in the second half and converted their free throw opportunities late to hold off the Tigers.

    The Commodores ended the first half on a 10-0 run, which included consecutive three-pointers by Bright, to go up 26-17. Vanderbilt limited Auburn to 7-of-29 (25.9 percent) from the field in the first half.