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    Saturday SEC Men's Basketball Central

    Wednesday Baseball RESULTS
    Kentucky 74, Tennessee 66
    Mississippi State 81, Texas A&M 72
    Georgia 66, Arkansas 61
    Missouri 68, Alabama 47
    Florida 68, Auburn 61
    Ole Miss 75, South Carolina 74
    LSU 81, Vanderbilt 58


    Kentucky Takes Down Tennessee at Rupp

    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Tennessee once again battled hard at Rupp Arena, but for the eighth year in a row, the Vols suffered a loss on Kentucky's home floor. On Saturday, Tennessee lost to the 13th-ranked Wildcats, 74-66, before 24,246.
     
    The Vols (11-6, 2-2 SEC) led for nearly the entire first half and were within two possessions for the first 9:27 of the second half, but Kentucky took control of the game midway through the second.
     
    Jarnell Stokes had a monster game for the Vols as he tallied 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for ninth double-double this season. Jordan McRae added 17 points while Jeronne Maymon scored 12 .
     
    Kentucky's twins Andrew Harrison (26) and Aaron Harrison (14) combined for 40 points while Julius Randle notched 18. For Andrew Harrison, it was a new career-high, surpassing his former best of 18. The Wildcats improved to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in the SEC.
     
    The Wildcats were a near perfect 23-of-24 from foul line, making their first 17 attempts in the game. While Tennessee struggled late in the game and finished 16-of-23 from the stripe. Kentucky came into the game shooting 65.9 percent on free throws.
     
    The Vols and Wildcats were within five points for the first 9:27 of the second half. Andrew Harrison's pair of free throws with 10:33 left in the game gave Kentucky a seven-point lead at 51-44. Aaron Harrison canned a 3-pointer with 8:39 left to give Kentucky a 56-48 lead.
     
    The Harrisons combined for 9 consecutive Kentucky points to put UK ahead by 10 at 58-48 with seven minutes on the clock.
     
    The Vols made a push in the final minutes as Darius Thompson knocked down the second 3-pointer of the game (2-of-13) for Tennessee to cut the deficit to six at 64-58 with three minutes left.
     
    Tennessee cut the deficit to six two more times in the final minute, but were unable to overcome Kentucky's near-perfect free throw shooting.
     
    Kentucky finished the game 7-of-16 for 44 percent on 3-pointers after coming into the game shooting 30.5 from beyond the arc.
     
    Tennessee dominated the glass all game, outrebounding Kentucky, 39-24, led by Stokes' massive prowess down low.
     
    The Vols came out strong in the first half and led by as many as nine on several occasions, but Kentucky took the lead with 45 seconds remaining the half on a James Young 3-point field goal. The Wildcats led 34-32 at halftime.
     
    Stokes and Randle dueled it out in the first half as the Vol posted 12 points and 11 rebounds while Randle a game-high 16 points at intermission. Stokes' 11 rebounds were personally more than the entire Kentucky team total of 10, as Tennessee won the battle on the glass, 23-10 in the first 20 minutes.
     
    With the Vols ahead 22-13, Kentucky chipped away, outscoring Tennessee 21-10 over the final 10:12 of the half to take its first lead of the game.
     
    Stokes opened the game with authority scoring the first six points of the game, in the first 2:19 of action forcing John Calipari to call timeout early in the action. Stokes knocked down a pair of free throws 4:15 into the game giving him eight points, which equalled his total in his previous two games at Rupp Arena.
     
    Tennessee returns home to host Arkansas on Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will tip at 8 p.m., an air on SEC TV and can be heard on the Vol Network.



    Mizzou Blows Past Arkansas

    COLUMBIA, Mo. –A strong second half by Missouri ultimately proved too much to overcome as Alabama fell in a hard-fought road contest, 68-47, Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena. With the loss, the Crimson Tide falls to 8-9, 2-2 in SEC play, while the Tigers improve to 14-3 and an even 2-2 in conference play.
     
    Alabama senior guard Trevor Releford had 10 points, which pushes his double-figure scoring streak to 18 consecutive games, dating back to last season. Freshman forward Jimmie Taylor had a career-high eight rebounds, which was also a team high.
     
    Three other Tide players scored in double figures, led by freshman forward Shannon Hale with a team-high 12 points along with sophomore guard Retin Obasohan’s 11 points and junior guard Levi Randolph’s 10 points.
     
    Alabama went 14-of-22 from the free-throw line while Missouri went 25-of-34. The Crimson Tide is now 1-6 when shooting fewer free throws than its opponent.
     
    Missouri guard Jabari Brown led the Tigers with a game-high 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
     
    The Tide will next begin a two-game homestand on Thursday night when it hosts the No. 7 Florida Gators at 6 p.m. CT in Coleman Coliseum. The contest will be televised on ESPN2.
     
    For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.



    Mississippi State Downs Texas A&M

    STARKVILE, Miss. – Mississippi State sophomore forward Gavin Ware scored eight of his team-high 22 points in overtime Saturday afternoon. 

    Ware and his teammates dominated the extra session as Mississippi State knocked off Texas A&M 81-72 in a Southeastern Conference contest played at Humphrey Coliseum. 
     
    “We were grinding the whole game,” MSU sophomore guard Craig Sword said. “They were making a bunch of shots, but we had to stay confident on the defensive end. We knew we had a chance to win if we could put together some stops.” 
     
    For a second-straight Saturday, MSU staged a dramatic rally. A week ago, MSU rallied from down six points late to knock off Ole Miss, 76-72. Saturday, Texas A&M held a 52-42 lead with 12:19 left in the contest. 
     
    “This was a good win for us against a quality defense,” MSU coach Rick Ray said. “Texas A&M is in the Top 15 in the nation in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. To score 81 points and to shoot close to 53 percent from the contest is very huge for this team.” 
     
    Ware dominated in the extra stanza as he posted his sixth double-double of the season with an 8-for-11 night from the field. He also had a team-high 10 rebounds. Sword led the team with 23 points. Also in double figures were Colin Borchert with 14 points and Fred Thomas with 13 points. 
     
    “I felt like I was the guy who needed to step up,” Ware said. “I knew my teammates were going to step up. I felt like this was my time to eat, as people would say. Coach always tells us to keep grinding out and keep getting the ball to the hole.” 
     
    With the win, MSU improved to 12-5 overall and 2-2 in league play. Texas A&M fell to 12-5 and 3-1. It was MSU’s first win against Texas A&M in Starkville. 
     
    Texas A&M scored the game’s first six points and held the upper hand for most of the first half. 
     
    The Bulldogs struggled early against the Aggies’ tenacious defensive unit and worked hard to get the offense on track. The Bulldogs were down 15-7 midway through the half. 
     
    MSU reeled off a 10-1 run to grab a 27-26 lead on a Fred Thomas 3-point basket with 1:32 left in the half. MSU held that lead at halftime. 
     
    In the second half, the Aggies went long distance to build the 52-42 lead. The Bulldogs were back within five at 57-52. Finally, MSU broke through and took the lead at 64-63 with 1:55 left on two Borchert free throws. Defensively, MSU held Texas A&M to an off-balanced 3-point shot attempt as regulation time expired. 
     
    For the contest, the Bulldogs hit 29-of-55 shots from the field (52.7 percent), 3 of 10 shots from 3-point range (30.0 percent) and 20 of 32 shots from the foul line (62.5 percent). The Aggies hit 25 of 56 shots from the field (44.6 percent), 8 of 20 shots from 3-point range (40.0 percent) and 14 of 21 shots from the foul line (66.7 percent). 
     
    MSU held a 38-33 rebounding advantage. The Bulldogs had 16 assists and 14 turnovers, while the Aggies had 13 assists and 15 turnovers. 
    Texas A&M received 24 points from Jamal Jones and 20 points from Davonte Fitzgerald. Alex Caruso added 12 points. 
     
    MSU welcomes Auburn to the Humphrey Coliseum for a 7 p.m. start Wednesday.



    Georgia Takes Care of Arkansas in OT

    ATHENS, Ga.— The Georgia men’s basketball team won its second overtime game of conference play, beating Arkansas 66-61 Saturday afternoon at Stegeman coliseum. The Bulldogs start 3-1 in the SEC for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
     
    With Georgia leading 60-55 with a minute remaining, Donte’ Williams rejected two Arkansas shot attempts in the lane giving Georgia possession, which led to a pair of Charles Mann free throws to give the Bulldogs’ an insurmountable seven point lead and their ninth win of the season.
     
    Georgia scored the extra period’s first seven points, but the Razorbacks fought back to within five points before Williams’ pair of blocks with a minute left. 
     
    “That’s a hard-fought SEC game,” said head coach Mark Fox. “We beat a really good Arkansas team, so we should feel like we accomplished something today because [Arkansas] is a really good basketball team. It was a hard-fought slugfest. That’s a game where both teams are really defending, and fortunately for us, we won the rebounding battle. But that was a dogfight, and we feel good about coming away with a win.”
     
    With three minutes left in the second half, Brandon Morris hit a layup in the lane to give Georgia its first lead since late in the first half. Morris’ basket capped a 15-7 run for Georgia starting at the 16-minute mark in the first half, when Arkansas held a seven point lead—its largest of the game. After Arkansas tied the game with a minute left, both teams had a possession in the final minute of the game, but neither was able to end the game in regulation.
     
    Marcus Thornton notched his first career double-double in the win, scoring 11 points and leading the team with 13 rebounds.  Kenny Gaines led Georgia with 15 points.
     
    Coty Clarke paced the Razorbacks offensively with 13 points. Today’s game was the third straight game in which the Razorbacks have gone to overtime.
     
    Georgia welcomes South Carolina to Athens on Wednesday for an 8:00 p.m. tip-off. The game will be carried on SEC-TV. For ticket information, go to Georgiadogs.com.



    Florida Wins at Auburn, 68-61

    Florida held off a game challenge from a fired-up Auburn squad playing before a equally charged up crowd, but the seventh-ranked Gators hit free throws down the stretch and held the Tigers scoreless the final 1:57 to win their ninth straight and remain unbeaten in Southeastern Conference play. Casey Prather returned to the lineup to score 21 points, while Scottie Wilbekin scored 16, including a huge fall-away jumper with 1:19 to play -- and shot clock expiring -- to push the Gators to a 3-point edge.

    WHAT IT MEANS: With Texas A&M’s loss at Mississippi State, UF is alone atop the SEC standings and is the league’s lone unbeaten team. The Gators also won their seventh single-digit game in nine tries. Florida was 0-6 in single-digit games last season.

    IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Prather missed the last two games with a bruised bone on his right knee, but came off the bench and hit his first six shots to score 16 points in 14 first-half minutes. He finished 8-for-10 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds.

    STAGGERING STATISTIC: The Tigers went 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first half and hit six of their first seven from distance to keep pace and give the Auburn Arena hope of the program's first win over a top-10 team since 2003. Didn't happen.

    SUBPLOT: Sophomore shooting guard Michael Frazier, who went 6-for-7 here from 3-point range last year, was held scoreless for the first time since the NCAA South Region final loss to Michigan last season. He came in averaging 12.3 points per game, but only took two shots. The Gators covered up nicely for him on offense.

    UP NEXT: The Gators (15-2, 4-0) don’t play for five days when they get their first Thursday-Saturday SEC double-dip. UF will go on the road to face Alabama (8-9, 2-2), which lost 68-47 at Missouri on Saturday, then will be home two days later to face Tennessee.



    Gamecocks Edged By Ole Miss, 75-74

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - Freshman forward Sindarius Thornwell's first career double-double wasn't enough as South Carolina fell 75-74 to Ole Miss this evening at Colonial Life Arena in front of its largest crowd of the season at 14,302. Thornwell led the Gamecocks with 24 points and a season high 11 rebounds, but he was unable to hit a tough off-balance shot from the top of the key with 1.8 seconds left.

    Thornwell led all scorers, going 7-of-16 from the field and 4-7 from beyond on the arc. Anthony Perez led the Rebels with 22 points, while Marshall Henderson and Aaron each had 19.

    Ole Miss opened up the game on a 12-4 run triggered by 3's from Henderson and Perez. Just over four minutes into the game, point guard Duane Notice was whistled for his second foul sending him to the bench. Two minutes later a dunk from Aaron Jones off of an inbound pass forced the Gamecocks to call its first timeout as they trailed by eight.
     
    South Carolina began chipping away through Jaylen Shaw as the freshman hit a 3-pointer with 13:26 on the clock before converting a pair from the foul line 30 seconds later.

    Trailing 16-9, Shaw drained his second 3 of the half at the 10:29 mark to bring the Gamecocks within three.

    Just under two minutes later, Michael Carrera turned over Jarvis Summers and took it the length of the court for a layup to pull the Gamecocks within one. Fouled on the play, the sophomore converted the three-point play to tie the game. With just over eight minutes remaining in the half, Carrera gave Carolina its first lead with a pair from the free throw line.
     
    Carrera continued to be the catalyst for the home team during the early part of the run as he pushed the lead to four as Thornwell found him on the back door.    

    Thornwell then extended the Gamecocks lead to 27-21 with a 3 from the right side. The forward added two more of his game-high 24 points with just over two minutes remaining in the half to give Carolina an eight-point lead. After two more from Mindaugas Kacinas, the Gamecocks took their largest lead of the half at 12, 37-25, after Desmond Ringer hit a pair from the foul line with 1:27 left.

    Perez added two in the final minute for the Rebels, but Carolina took a 37-27 lead into the half as the team turned 11 Ole Miss turnovers into 16 points.

    Despite two early free throws from Thornwell to open the second half, the Rebels went on a 15-2 spurt as Henderson scored seven straight points during the run after only scoring three in the first half.
     
    After giving up the lead for the first time since the 8:06 mark in the first half, Thornwell responded with a back-to-back 3-pointers to hold the Gamecocks lead at 47-45. Henderson though, quickly responded with a 3 of his own to grab the Rebels the lead back.

    Down three at 54-51, Thornwell leveled the game with his season-high fourth 3-pointer of the game with 11:26 on the clock, but South Carolina was unable to regain the lead until the 6:04 mark. Thorwell went was sent to the line after pulling down an offensive rebound a missed free throw. The freshmen hit 1-of-2 from the line to give the Gamecocks a 62-61 lead.

    Notice extended the lead to three on the ensuing possession with a floater in the lane for his first points of the afternoon. The freshman point guard pushed the lead to five with four and half remaining, but the Rebels scored five straight points to tie the game up at 68-68 with 2:56 to play.

    With 2:04 left, Summers drove hard through lane and kicked the ball out to Perez in the left corner where the forward hit his second 3 of the game. Brenton Williams attempted to match Perez at the other end, but his shot was off the mark. Summers then converted two from the foul line to push the Rebels lead to 73-68.

    Ole Miss though was only able to hit 2-of-6 free throws in the final minutes as the Gamecocks closed the gap at the foul line. After Thornwell converted two attempts, Williams was fouled on a 3-point attempt with six seconds remaining. The senior calmly sank all three free throws to bring Carolina within one.     

    The Rebels were unable to get a clean inbound pass off and Williams grabbed the errant pass in the backcourt. Out of a timeout with 1.8 seconds left, Thornwell received the pass at the top of the key, but the pressure on the ball forced an off-balance shot that was wide of the mark.

    Shaw and Williams each scored nine points on the day for the Gamecocks, with Williams going 9-of-9 from the charity stripe. Carerra chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

    South Carolina held the 2014 Carolina Basketball Legends Weekend Commemorating Frank McGuire this weekend, and continued event festivities at the men's basketball contest versus Ole Miss.  McGuire-era legends signed autographs pre-game on the concourse level at the arena, and all legends were honored in a pre-game ceremony on the court.  Also at Saturday's game, the Gamecock football team was recognized at halftime.  Head coach Steve Spurrier addressed the crowd, along with athletics director Ray Tanner, Jadeveon Clowney and Bruce Ellington.

    The Gamecocks now hit the road this week as the team heads to Georgia on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for the 8 p.m. ET and will broadcast on SEC TV.



    LSU Downs Vanderbilt, 81-58

    Johnny O'Bryant scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as LSU thumped Vanderbilt 81-58 in Baton Rouge on Saturday evening.

    O'Bryant was five-of-10 from the fieldd and 11-of-14 from the line in the game.

    Jordan Mickey had 13 points for LSU (11-5, 2-2 SEC), while Jarell Martin had 11 points. Andre Stringer added 10 for the Tigers.

    LSU had a 10-0 run in the first half to take command of the game.

    Vanderbilt got to within five points in the second half, but it wasn't enough for the Commodores. Rod Odom led Vanderbilt with 20 points, and Damien Jones had 16.