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    SEC Men's Basketball Today: Monday, December 23

    Men's Basketball RESULTS
    Tennessee 82, Morehead State 67
    Boise State 80, South Carolina 54
    UNLV 82, Mississippi State 66


    Vols Cruise Past Morehead State, 82-67

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Junior Josh Richardson scored a season-high 19 points Monday night to lead the Tennessee Volunteers to a 82-67 victory over Morehead State at Thompson-Boling Arena.

    Tennessee (7-4) snapped its two-game losing streak by posting team season bests in made field goals (32), rebounds (49), assists (20) and blocks (11).

    Richardson led the Vols in scoring for the first time this season, finishing just one point shy of his career best. He also had eight rebounds and two assists.

    Sophomore Derek Reese provided a spark off the bench in his season debut. After not playing the first 10 games of the season, Reese returned to the court to score a career-best 12 points to go along with a career-high and team-leading 10 rebounds in 19 minutes.

    Morehead State (8-6) was led by Angelo Warner and Brent Arrington, who each scored 16 points.

    After taking a 41-30 lead into halftime, Tennessee kept rolling ahead to start the second half, putting together a 13-0 run in the first three minutes. Senior Jeronne Maymon providing seven points during that stretch, completing a 3-point play to expand the Vols' lead to 54-30 with 16:52 left to play.

    The Vols led by as many as 26 points in the half on their way to victory.

    Maymon led the Vols in second-half scoring. After collecting just two points in the first half, he scored 14 points after halftime to finish with 16 points and eight rebounds.

    Tennessee controlled the basket the entire game. The Vols out rebounded Morehead State 49 to 28. Reese recorded 10 rebounds and junior Jarnell Stokes just missed out on a double-double, scoring 13 points and nine rebounds.

    The Vols started pulling away midway through the first half. Leading early 16-12, Tennessee scored 11 unanswered points while Morehead went 0 for 6 from the field during that time. Derek Reese capped the UT run by driving through traffic for a layup to give the Vols built a 27-12 lead with 5:17 remaining in the half.

    With team scoring leader Jordan McRae picking up two fouls early, Richardson led the way in the points column in the first half. He scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. He also had four rebounds.

    The Vols pushed through Morehead State's frequent press defense and shot a solid 61 percent (17 of 28) from the field in the first half, while holding Morehead State to 38 percent shooting (11 of 29). UT outrebounded the Eagles 21 to 12.

    The Vols recorded 11 blocks, the most in the Cuonzo Martin era and the most by the Vols since 2000. Reese accounted for four blocks and McRae had three.

    Tennessee continues its home stand Dec. 30 by hosting Virginia at 7 p.m. It is the third of four non-conference home games before the Vols open Southeastern Conference play Jan. 7 at LSU.

    Gamecocks Suffer 80-54 Loss To Boise State In Diamond Head Classic Semifinals

    HONOLULU, Hawaii - South Carolina (3-6) suffered an 80-54 loss to Boise State (10-2) in the semifinals of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Monday. The Gamecocks will face Akron on Wednesday, Dec. 25, in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

    Senior guard Brenton Williams led Carolina with 14 points in the game, and freshman guard Duane Notice added 13. The Gamecocks recorded just six assists and 18 turnovers on the night, hitting 37.3 percent (19-51) from the field, compared to the 53.7 percent (29-54) from the Broncos. Junior guard Anthony Drmic paced Boise State with a game high 30 points and three steals.

    The veteran Broncos jumped out to an early 9-4 lead behind seven points from Drmic. The Broncos extended their lead to as many as nine in the early goings before a 3 from Williams and lay-in from Notice brought the score to 15-9 Broncos with 12:50 remaining in the first half.

    South Carolina started just 4-of-12 from the floor to open the contest and both teams struggled near the eight-minute mark to find the basket with Boise State holding a 22-15 advantage.

    A 3 from Boise State's Thomas Bropleh was answered with a 3 from Williams with 5:03 on the clock in the first half to bring the score to 29-21 Broncos.

    Junior guard Tyrone Johnson completed a 3-point play from the line after a Broncos foul with just under three minutes remaining in the half, but the Gamecocks would add just two more points before the break. Boise State's Nick Duncan hit a 3 with 40 seconds remaining and Bropleh connected on a lay-in just before the halftime buzzer for a 43-28 Broncos lead at the half.

    South Carolina shot just 38 percent (10-26) in the opening stanza, compared to 53.6 percent (15-28) from Boise State. Williams recorded 10 points to pace the Gamecocks and Drmic scored 21 for Boise State in the half. The Broncos also scored 12 points off of 11 Gamecock turnovers in the set.

    Notice scored five points early in the second half, but Boise State's Ryan Watkins connected for a pair of lay-ups and Drimic a free throw to put the Broncos lead at 48-33 with 16:41 to play.

    A lay-in from Williams broke a four-minute scoreless streak for Carolina at the 13:46 mark. Boise State answered with lay-ups on consecutive possessions from Drimic and Bropleh and the Gamecocks trailed 56-35 with just over 12 minutes to play.

    South Carolina continued to struggle from the floor. Jeff Elorriaga hit 3s on consecutive Broncos possessions, before sophomore forward Brian Steele hit his first basket of the contest, a 3, with 8:08 showing on the clock to put the score at 67-40 Boise State.

    The Gamecocks battled the remainder of the half, but Boise State's lead was too much and the Broncos closed the 80-54 victory.

    South Carolina will play Akron on Wednesday, Dec. 25, in the third-place game, set to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The contest will be the first of back-to-back games versus the Zips, as the two teams are scheduled to play in Columbia on Dec. 28.

    MSU Falls in Las Vegas Classic Championship
    LAS VEGAS, Nevada – A blistering first-half shooting performance by UNLV did in the Mississippi State men’s basketball team Monday night.
    Playing its final game before the Christmas break, MSU allowed nine first-half 3-point baskets and never recovered, falling 82-66 to UNLV in the championship game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic at Orleans Arena.
    The Bulldogs played hard and led in several statistical categories but could not mount a serious comeback in the second half after the monster shooting performance in the opening half by the Runnin’ Rebels.
    The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for MSU.
    “We talked about chipping away in the second half,” MSU head coach Rick Ray said. “We can’t give a good quality club a head start like that. We just didn’t handle any of the adversity that took place in the game. We had some opportunities at the rim and we didn’t finish.”
    MSU (9-3) built an early 10-5 lead on two Dre Applewhite free throws and a Fred Thomas dunk. UNLV (8-4) received for a 13-12 lead and stretched its advantage to 21-14 on an 8-0 run.
    By then, UNLV was beginning to heat up in long-range. Deville Smith hit three 3-point baskets as the Rebels hit 9-of-13 from 3-point range in the first half alone. Conversely, MSU did not hit a 3-point basket in the first half.
    After a basket by Gavin Ware, UNLV reeled off an 8-0 run for a 29-16 advantage. The Bulldogs went better than five minutes between field goals during the run.
    UNLV shot 52 percent from the field in the first half and led 42-24 at the intermission.
    The Bulldogs continued to play with heart in the second half, closing within 12 on two different occasions. A couple of dunks highlighted an 8-0 run in the later stages of the half as the lead grew past 20.
    For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 28 of 59 shots from the field (47.5 percent), 1 of 11 shots from 3-point range (9.1 percent) and 9 of 12 shots from the foul line (75.0 percent). The Rebels hit 26 of 59 shots from the field (44.1 percent), 11 of 26 shots from 3-point range (42.3 percent) and 19 of 24 shots from the foul line (79.2 percent).
    UNLV held a 39-30 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had nine assists and 14 turnovers, while the Rebels had 16 assists and 19 turnovers.
    Craig Sword led MSU with 18 points, while Colin Borchert added 12 points.
    Kevin Olekaibe led UNLV with 17 points. Smith finished with 15 points, while Roscoe Smith added 12 points and Khem Birch added 11 points. Roscoe Smith had the game’s lone double-double as he also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
    MSU returns to action at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2 against Maryland-Eastern Shore at Humphrey Coliseum. That contest will close the non-conference portion of the 2013-14 schedule.