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    SEC Men's Basketball Today: Friday, November 8

    Men's Basketball RESULTS
    Florida 77, North Florida 69
    Oklahoma 82, Alabama 73
    Kentucky 89, UNC-Asheville 57
    Georgia 72, Wofford 52
    Arkansas 99, SIU-Edwardsville 65
    Auburn 76, Nicholls State 54
    Mississippi State 71, Prairie View A&M 56
    Texas A&M 82, Buffalo 58
    Missouri 89, Southeastern Louisiana 53
    Ole Miss 69, Troy 54

     

    Florida Tops North Florida, 77-69 in Opener

    Casey Prather had 28 points and eight rebounds as the 10th-ranked Florida Gators beat North Florida 77-69 in Friday's season opener at the O'Connell Center.

    Michael Frazier was the only other Gator in double figures, scoring 19 points off the bench.

    North Florida (0-1) was able to hang around in the game by hitting nine-of-24 from three-point range. Beau Beech led the way for the Ospreys with five three-pointers and a total of 16 points.

    Florida (1-0) was able to put the game away late by hitting its free throws. For the game, the Gators hit 27-of-32 (84.4%) from the line.
     




    Alabama Men’s Basketball Falls to Oklahoma in Season Opener, 82-73

    DALLAS – The Alabama men’s basketball team fell to Oklahoma, 82-73, in both teams’ season opener at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Junior guard Algie Key led the Crimson Tide with 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting in his UA debut.

    “Obviously disappointed with the loss, but you have to compliment Oklahoma,” UA head coach Anthony Grant said. “I thought they did a really good job attacking when we had a big lead in the first half and I thought they did a good job on the offensive glass all night.”

    Sophomore guard Retin Obasohan tied his career high with 14 points. Senior guard Trevor Releford had 12 points while struggling with foul trouble for much of the game. Junior forward Rodney Cooper had his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

    Alabama got out to a 26-10 lead thanks to a 20-3 run and led 41-40 at half, but was outscored 42-32 in the second half. The game remained tight until there were six minutes left in the game when OU reeled off 10 unanswered points to pull ahead for good.

    “We had our opportunities in the second half. The 10-1 run in the last six minutes is probably what decided the game,” Grant said. “You have to give them credit and we just have to turn around and get ready for our next game.”

    The Tide returns to action on Thursday, Nov. 14, when it welcomes Texas Tech for the first home game of the 2013-14 regular season in Coleman Coliseum. The contest, which is set for an 8 p.m. CT tip, will be part of the 2013 Big 12/SEC Challenge and will be televised ESPN2.
     




    Kentucky Rolls Past UNC-Asheville, 89-57

    Five players scored in double figures as the Kentucky Wildcats bounced UNC-Asheville 89-57 on Friday night at Rupp Arena.

    In his first college game, Julius Randle had 23 points and 15 rebounds, while fellow freshman Marcus Lee added 17 points.

    Alex Poythress also had a double-double, with 10 points and 13 rebounds. James Young added 11 points, while Aaron Harrison had 10.

    Kentucky shot only 37.9 percent from the floor, but outrebounded UNC-Asheville 48-31. Kentucky made 30 free throws in the game, while UNC-Asheville made just 10.
     



    Georgia Beats Wofford in Home Opener, 72-52

    ATHENS, Ga.—Three Bulldogs scored in double figures as Georgia upended Wofford for a 72-52 season opening win Friday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

    Georgia was led by junior Nemanja Djurisic and senior Donte’ Williams.  Djurisic scored 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds and Williams had 11 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Kenny Gaines also added ten points.

    “It’s great to get started,” said head coach Mark Fox. “I thought we were a little nervous out of the gate, but I thought we calmed down and played pretty well to finish the first half. We beat a real sound, solid basketball team so I was really pleased with our first half effort. I thought we did a lot of good things, certainly a lot of teachable things. I thought there were a lot of positives, and for us, it was a great first night out.”

    In the first half, neither team led by more than four points until Georgia went on a deafening 14-0 run in the half’s final five minutes to take a 39-20 lead into the break. Gaines led the way for the Bulldogs in the first half with 10 points. Freshman J.J. Frazier scored Georgia’s final five points of the half.

    “I think last year we might have come out a little slower, but we just got to focus on being a good team this year,” Gaines said about the first half run. “We just have to take it one game at a time and keep playing like we did today.”

    Donte’ Williams led the Bulldog charge out of the locker room, converting two dunks and a pair of free throws for Georgia’s first six points of the half. Shortly after, Forte put Georgia up by 25 points going 1-for-2 from the free throw line, giving Georgia what would be its largest lead of the game.

    The Terriers cut the lead to as few as 14 after a Justin Gordon tip-in with four minutes remaining, but the Bulldogs finished the game on a 5-0 run to preserve a 20-point margin of victory.

    Georgia limited Wofford to just 38 percent shooting from the field, including 2-for-14 from behind the three-point arc. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Terriers 49-to-24 and scored half of their points from inside the paint.

    The Bulldogs return to action a week from tonight when they welcome Georgia Tech to Stegeman Coliseum. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports Net. For ticket information, go to Georgiadogs.com.
     



    Razorbacks Roll To 99-65 Win In Season Opener

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Fueled by a 31-4 first half run and five players in double figures, the University of Arkansas men’s basketball team opened the 2013-14 season and its 20th year in Bud Walton Arena with a 99-65 win over SIU-Edwardsville on Friday night.

    The Razorbacks were firing on all cylinders with their #Fastest40 style of play, forcing the Cougars into 23 turnovers that resulted in a 33-3 edge in points off miscues, a 52 percent (33-64) night from the field and 42 points in the paint. Arkansas missed recording the seventh 100-point season-opening game in Bud Walton Arena history by one point.

    “I’m proud of our guys’ effort tonight,” said head coach Mike Anderson, who improved to 12-0 all-time in season openers while leading the Razorbacks to their 19th straight season-opening win. “With our style, we need to build off of our defense and tonight we did that by capitalizing off turnovers. This is a team that will have a lot of balance throughout the year and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a different guy leading us every night.”

    On this night, it was a pair of sophomores at the top of the five-man double figure scorers list for Arkansas, as Anthlon Bell poured in a career-high 18 points on the strength of 5-of-6 from three-point range. Highlighted by a pair of big dunks, Michael Qualls finished with 16 points and five rebounds. In all, the sophomore class supplied 46 points.

    Making his debut as a Razorback, redshirt junior Alandise Harris came off the pine for 15 points to lead an Arkansas bench that contributed 42 points.  Senior Mardracus Wade supplied his 33rd career double figure scoring game with 11 points in 15 minutes.

    Arkansas’ leading returning scorer and rebounder, senior Coty Clarke led the way on the glass with eight caroms that were part of a 42-34 advantage for the Razorbacks. Included in those 42 rebounds were 16 on the offensive end, as nine different players grabbed an offensive rebound. Clarke also added 10 points to round out the double-digit scorers.

    Trailing 10-7 early in the game, Arkansas embarked on a game-changing 31-4 run that absorbed nearly 10 minutes. Over the run that saw the Razorbacks score 10 straight to open and 12 in a row to close, Arkansas came away with points on 13-of-18 possessions, went 10-of-15 from the field and saw seven different players score.

    Thanks to the run, the Razorbacks took a 56-27 lead into the locker room behind 19-of-35 shooting from the floor and 20 points off SIUE turnovers. Bell scored 12 of his 18 points in the opening half, while Harris’s 11 led the rotation off the bench that nearly out-scored the Cougars on their own (26-27).

    The Razorback lead never dipped below 24 points in the second half, reaching as high as 38, 99-61, with 40 seconds to play.

    SIU-Edwardsville was led by Tim Johnson’s 13 points, while it shot 39 percent (25-64) from the floor.

    Arkansas will return to Bud Walton Arena on Friday, Nov. 15, when it hosts Louisiana. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. The game is part of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, which the Razorbacks will take part in Nov. 25-27.
     




    Auburn Opens Season With 22-Point Win Over Nicholls

    AUBURN, Ala. – Guards KT Harrell and Chris Denson combined for 41 points as the Auburn men’s basketball team opened the 2013-14 season with a 76-54 win over Nicholls on Friday night at the Auburn Arena.

    Harrell, a transfer from Virginia who sat out last season, scored 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and five free throws. The junior from Montgomery had 15 points at the half and scored Auburn’s first five points of the game, hitting a 3-pointer just 15 seconds into the contest and then a layup just 40 seconds later.

    Denson, a senior from Columbus, Ga., did most of his damage from the free throw line. He hit a career-high 11 free throws on 14 attempts while shooting 4-for-8 from the floor to finish with 20 points.

    Auburn (1-0) led by eight at the half, 37-29, but used a 14-2 run midway through the second half to put the game away. Leading 54-39 with 11:47 left, Malcolm Canada (7 points, 5 rebounds) hit a free throw to start the run while Denson hit a layup to end it with 8:24 left and Auburn up 68-41. Denson would score a total of 8 points during the run, hitting a 3-pointer and three free throws to go along with his layup.

    Tahj Shamsid-Deen, who became Auburn’s first freshman to start a season-opener at the point since Quantez Robertson in 2005-06, finished with 5 points and 4 assists.

    Auburn finished the game with a 39-34 edge on the boards and held Nicholls (0-1) to just 33.9 percent shooting from the floor, including 25 percent (6-for-24) from 3-point range.

    Auburn hit on 28 of its 41 free throws while Nicholls attempted just 22, hitting 10.

    Nicholls was led by T.J Carpenter and Jeremy Smith, who each scored 9 points.

    Auburn returns to the court on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. when it plays host to Northwestern State at the Auburn Arena.






    MSU Men's Basketball Wins Season Opener

    STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State used a dominating inside game to win its men’s basketball season opener Friday night.
                    
    Gavin Ware posted his third career double-double (15 points and 15 rebounds) and Roquez Johnson added 11 points as the Bulldogs used a strong second half surge to get past Prairie View A&M 71-56 in the Humphrey Coliseum.
                    
    MSU won its season opener for the first time under second-year head coach Rick Ray and also won its opener for the 23rd time in the past 29 seasons.
                    
    In his MSU debut, freshman guard IJ Ready added 14 points, two assists and three steals in 30 minutes of work.
                    
    “I had been waiting for this night since August,” Ready said. “It was exciting to get out there and to put to use what we had been doing in practice since August. It was really great to go out there, play a game and get a win like that. It is a good start.”
                    
    MSU shot 42.2 percent from the floor but was plagued by 21 turnovers. Despite the tighter restrictions on foul calling, the Bulldogs did well there, only being called for 19 personals.
                    
    Leading 62-55, the Bulldogs followed a timeout with three straight defensive turnovers and three baskets on the other end for a game-clinching 7-0 run.
                    
    “Basically, we were told to not worry about the score,” Ware said. “We just had to go out there and get some stops to win the game. That is what we did. Our defensive pressure bothered them. We just have to be more consistent with that. But we did the things that we needed to do late in the game there to get the win.”

    MSU scored the game’s first five points and held a sizeable lead throughout the contest. A layup by Johnson capped an 11-2 run and extended the lead to 18-9. Prairie View closed within five at 22-17 only to see more full-court pressure lead to a 7-1 run and a 29-18 lead for the Bulldogs.
                    
    That last spurt helped push MSU to a 38-28 lead at the intermission.
                    
    “We did some things really well for the first game,” Ray said. “You saw some of the things that our new players are going to be able to do. IJ really provided a steady, calming influence from the point guard position. Down low, we missed some easy shot opportunities but we kept getting them.”
                    
    MSU extended the lead to 45-29 on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Ware. Still, the Panthers had a couple of strong offensive possessions where they beat the Bulldogs back down the court to stay in the contest.
                    
    A 3-point basket by Montrael Scott whittled the lead to 62-55 before the game-decisive run. That run included a layup by Trivante Bloodman, a 3-pointer by Ready and a layup by Colin Borchert.
                    
    For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 27 of 64 shots from the field (42.2 percent), 4 of 12 shots from 3-point range (33.3 percent) and 13 of 21 shots from the foul line (61.9 percent). The Cougars hit 19 of 50 shots from the field (38.0 percent), 3 of 22 shots from 3-point range (13.6 percent) and 15 of 21 shots from the foul line (71.4 percent).
                    
    MSU held a 51-27 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 13 assists and 21 turnovers, while the Panthers had six assists and 19 turnovers.
                    
    “I thought you saw a lot of poise down the stretch,” Ray said. “You saw a young team making basketball plays and learning how to put a team away. That is a good thing to see.”
                    
    Prairie View received 15 points from Montreal Scott, 13 points from Louis Munks and 11 points from Tre Hagood.
                 
    MSU resumes it season-opening three-game homestand by playing host to Kennesaw State Thursday. Game time is 7 p.m. in the Humphrey Coliseum.
     




    Texas A&M Tops Buffalo, 82-58

    Jordan Green had a career-high 15 points and Kourtney Roberson had 15 points and 11 rebounds as Texas A&M pounded Buffalo 82-58 on friday night in College Station.

    Texas A&M closed the game on a 29-6 run after leading by only one point with 11:35 left in the game.

    The Aggies shot 47.8 percent from the floor and had a 48-26 advantage in points in the paint in the game. The Aggies scored 20 points off of 14 Buffalo turnovers.

    Javon McCrea led Buffalo with 14 points.
     




    Mizzou Takes 2013-14 Season Opener, 89-53

    COLUMBIA, Mo. - Riding a dominating first half, the Tigers easily took the 2013-14 season opener against the visiting Southeastern Louisiana Lions by a score of 89-53.

    Mizzou shot an impressive 57.7-percent (15-26) in the first half, which included eight three-pointers. Senior Earnest Ross knocked down three from long distance, while freshman Wes Clark and sophomore Stefan Jankovic each tallied two apiece from three.

    Clark posted 10 points in the first half, behind 4-of-7 shooting and finished with 13 points overall on the night.

    Junior Jordan Clarkson was shutout in the first half for the Tigers, but rebounded nicely with 14 second half points. Clarkson finished the night shooting 5-of-12 from the field, and 3-of-3 from the charity stripe.

    The Tigers (1-0) produced an impressive defensive effort throughout the night, which included holding the Lions to an 8-for-30 (26.7-percent) shooting performance in the first half. For the night, Southeastern Louisiana only shot 33.9-percent (21-of-62) from the field.

    Junior Jabari Brown led Mizzou in scoring Friday evening at Mizzou Arena, as he finished with 19 points. Brown's seven rebounds also paced the Tigers in that category.

    Mizzou returns to action next Tuesday (Nov. 12) with a home contest against Southern Illinois. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT.
     



    Rebels Coast Past Troy In Season Opener

    OXFORD, Miss. - Jarvis Summers scored a career-high 28 points as Ole Miss coasted past Troy 69-54 in the season opener Friday at Tad Smith Coliseum.

    "I love to shoot and ball felt really good in my hands," said Summers, who had 22 in the first half. "I came out shooting and thought I would see what might happen."

    Summers was 9 of 11 in the first half, including three shots from three-point range as the Rebels built an insurmountable 39-26 halftime lead. Derrick Millinghaus added 13 points, 10 in the second half, as Ole Miss controlled the season opener for both schools.

    "He was huge. He made some big shots early to settle us in," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. "When you're challenged offensively, you need people to step up and he was tremendous."

    The Rebels needed the first half outburst  from Summers. Troy challenged early, pulling into an 11-11 tie as Thomas capped a 6-0 run with a layup with 13 minutes remaining. The Trojans managed only two other field goals for the remainder of the half, finishing 7 of 22 from the field.

    Ole Miss answered with an 18-2 run to build what became an insurmountable 29-13 lead. Summers accounted for 15 of the points in the decisive surge as the Rebels built a 39-26 halftime lead.

    The Rebels led by as many as 18 points in the opening five minutes in the second half, 51-33. Millinghaus, with 10 second half points, hit a twisting layup with 15:46 left to provide the game's largest margin.

    Troy pulled within 59-49 with 7:47 left on a jumper by Thomas, but failed to convert two ensuing possessions to get within single digits. Summers responded with a rare four-point play, converting the free throw after a three-point shot, for a 63-49 lead with 6:39 left and Troy never closer than 12 points again.

    "We just couldn't get it under 10 points," said Troy first-year coach Phil Cunningham. "We had two huge possessions where we didn't convert.

    But the difference in the game was they just wiped us out on the offensive and defensive glass."

    The Rebels out-rebounded Troy 53-38 with Aaron Jones pulling down a game-high 13. The decisive margin on the boards allowed the Rebels to take 23 more shots than Troy, finishing 25 of 72 for 34.7 percent from the field.

    "When you get 23 more shots, that's a big difference on the boards,"

    Kennedy said. "Aaron was really active and that's what we need. We were really big tonight on the offensive glass."

    Troy got 11 points apiece from Tevin Calhoun and Kevin Thomas. The Trojans were 17 of 49 for 34.7 percent from the field and 16 of 25 for 64 percent from the free throw line.

    "Our effort was good and we hung in there and gave ourselves a chance," Cunningham said. "We saw positive things out there tonight."