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    SEC Men's Basketball Today: Saturday, November 23

    Men's Basketball RESULTS
    Missouri 72, Gardner-Webb 63
    Vanderbilt 75, Morgan State 66
    Auburn 75, Murray State 67
    Utah State 87, Mississippi State 68

     

    Strong Second Half Leads To Tigers' 72-63 Win Over Gardner-Webb

    COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Tigers used an impressive second half shooting effort to pull away late, as they toppled the visiting Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs 72-63 Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena.

    Mizzou and Gardner-Webb played a tight game throughout the first half, as there were two ties and two lead changes. The Tigers shot 37.1-percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, while the Runnin' Bulldogs fared a little better at 39.3-percent.

    Gardner-Webb used four first half three-pointers to remain close with Mizzou, while the Tigers failed to hit one behind the arc (0-for-8). Despite not recording a three in the half, Mizzou still held a 31-29 advantage after one half.

    Freshman Johnathan Williams, III led an impressive 28-14 rebound advantage in the first half for Mizzou, as he picked up 10 boards alone (six offensive and four defensive).

    Gardner Webb's Naji Hibbert led his team's scoring attack with 14 first-half points, on 5-of-10 shooting from the field.

    The second half brought better fortunes for the Tigers' shooting, as they hit 12-of-22 from the floor (54.5-percent). The half also saw the only two three-pointers of the game for Mizzou, after junior Jabari Brown and senior Earnest Ross each tallied one.

    Mizzou used their impressive second half shooting effort to pull away against Gardner Webb, and led by as many as 20 points in the half. The Tigers big men dominated throughout the afternoon, as they outscored the Runnin' Bulldogs in the paint by a 46-18 margin.

    After an outstanding 10 first half rebounds for Williams, III, he would finish with a new career-high 17 in the ballgame. Earnest Ross established a new season-high in points, after producing 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. Ross also was a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.

    The Tigers return to action on Monday, Nov. 25, as they will host the IUPUI Jaguars at Mizzou Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT and will be televised on MSN. For the latest information on Mizzou Basketball, check-in at MUTigers.com and follow the team on Twitter @MizzouHoops.
     




    Vanderbilt Holds Off Morgan State, 75-66

    Kyle Fuller scored 16 points, including four free throws in the final minute, as Vanderbilt got past Morgan State 75-66 in the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas.

    Damian Jones had 13 points for the Commodores (3-2) and Eric McClellan hit four three-pointers to account for his 12 points.

    Vanderbilt also got double-figure scoring games from Rod Odom and Luke Kornet, who each had 11 points.

    Justin Black led Morgan State (0-6) with 18 points.
     




    Auburn Downs Murray State, 75-67

    AUBURN, Ala. – KT Harrell went for 17 points and 10 rebounds while Chris Denson had his third 20-point game of the season, scoring 23, as Auburn defeated Murray State, 75-67, on Saturday night.

    Tied at 44-44 with 14:17 left in the game, Auburn (3-1) went on an 8-0 run over the next three-and-a-half minutes. Denson hit three shots in the run as Auburn went up 52-44. Denson would score 19 of his points after intermission, hitting 7-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-9 from the free throw line, collecting his seventh consecutive double-digit scoring game dating to last season.

    Murray State would trim the lead to a bucket, 53-51, with 9:08 left but was never able to tie it up as Auburn scored the next seven points to extend the lead to nine, 60-51.

    The lead would grow to 12 twice, the last coming at 67-55 with 4:06 left.

    Asauhn Dixon-Tatum finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds for Auburn while Allen Payne had 7 points and tied his career-high with 10 rebounds.

    Point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored 11 points as Auburn had four players in double figures for the first time this season.

    Jeffery Moss and Cameron Payne each had 16 points for Murray State (2-3).

    Auburn returns to the floor on Tuesday at 7 p.m. when it plays host to Tennessee State.
     




    Bulldogs Suffer First Loss At Utah State

    LOGAN, Utah – Playing its first road game of the season was a difficult experience for Mississippi State.

    Utah State hit 11 3-point baskets and led from start to finish in posting an 87-68 victory against MSU Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

    The Bulldogs saw their modest season-opening win streak snapped at three games. MSU will return to the Humphrey Coliseum for a 1 p.m. start Wednesday against in-state rival Jackson State.

    “This game was real simple,” MSU head coach Rick Ray said. “They can shoot and we can’t. We couldn’t guard them and they could guard us. They beat us up in the boards. We have a false sense of who we are because we are living on our offense.

    “Everybody is shooting above 40 percent from us and we can’t have that.”

    Utah State scored five straight points to build an early 13-6 lead. MSU cut it back to 17-16 on a Gavin Ware dunk and 3-pointer from Jacoby Davis. The Aggies scored the game’s next seven points and quickly led 24-16.

    Utah State hit six first-half 3-point baskets early foul troubles caused a shuffling of the MSU line, as the Aggies led 41-28 at halftime.

    The Bulldogs closed within nine twice and then eight at 51-43 on two free throws by Ware. Utah State followed with a 10-0 run, which was eventually halted on a 3-point basket by Dre Applewhite.

    MSU got no closer than 10 the rest of the way.

    “The loose balls, they beat us to every last one of them,” Ray said. “We have to work on finding our identity on the defensive end. We have a lot of players who have gotten better on offense but that is not where we are going to win games this year.”

    For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 26 of 57 shots from the field (45.6 percent), 5 of 16 shots from 3-point range (31.3 percent) and 11 of 17 shots from the foul line (64.7 percent). The Aggies hit 28 of 54 shots from the field (51.9 percent), 11 of 23 shots from the 3-point range (47.8 percent) and 20 of 27 shots from the foul line (74.1 percent).

    Utah State held a 41-23 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 18 assists and 14 turnovers, while the Aggies had 19 assists and 16 turnovers.

    Ware posted his third double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds for MSU. Colin Borchert added 15 points, while Craig Sword added 11 points and Applewhite added 10 points

    Utah State received 21 points from TeNale Roland, 17 points from Jarred Shaw and 16 points from Spencer Butterfied.