Kentucky wins in OT
A layup by Quade Green (above) with 5 seconds remaining gave No. 21 Kentucky an 83-81 overtime victory against Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.
TOP 25/SEC MEN NO. 21 KENTUCKY 83, VANDERBILT 81, OT
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Quade Green’s layup with five seconds remaining gave No. 21 Kentucky an 83-81 overtime victory against Vanderbilt on Tuesday night.
Kentucky (17-5, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) overcame a 57-46 deficit with 9 ½ minutes left to tie it on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s two free throws with three seconds left. The freshman then opened OT with a jumper, PJ Washington made two free throws and Kevin Knox hit a 3-pointer for a 78-74 lead.
Vanderbilt (8-14, 2-7) rallied for a 79-78 edge before Knox finished a three-point play, and that was answered by Clevon Brown’s layup. After Green found open space for the winning layup, Payton Willis (Fayetteville) fired a three-pointer that bounced off the rim and sparked a dog pile at midcourt for the Wildcats.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored a career-high 30 points for Kentucky, while Knox had 18 and Green 12.
Jeff Roberson had 23 points for the Commodores, who looked to string together consecutive wins for the first time since late last month.
NO. 11 AUBURN 79, MISSISSIPPI 70
OXFORD, Miss. — Bryce Brown scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half to lead No. 11 Auburn over Mississippi.
Auburn (20-2, 8-1 SEC) beat Ole Miss for the second time this season. Brown made 9 of 16 shots from the field, including
“Bryce has got a different gear,” Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl said. “He’s got a confidence and a swagger. He’s fearless.”
Brown’s big game earned Auburn its first victory over Ole Miss in Oxford in nearly 10 years. He shot 9 of 16 from the field and made three 3-pointers.
Mustapha Heron added 16 points for the Tigers. Jared Harper had 13 points and seven assists.
Brown made the difference during a crucial stretch of the second half when Auburn used a 13-2 run to turn a narrow lead into a 72-57 advantage. The 6-foot3 guard shook off a slow start and some early foul trouble to pick apart the Ole Miss defense when it mattered most.
“That was the biggest difference in the second half — I was in attack mode,” Brown said.
Ole Miss (11-11, 4-5) lost for the first time at home during conference play. The Rebels were led by Deandre Burnett, who scored 16 points. Terence Davis, Markel Crawford and Devontae Shuler each added 11.
Auburn won despite shooting 39 percent from the field. One reason is the Tigers were able to extend several possessions thanks to 19 offensive rebounds.
“They killed us on the glass,” Crawford said. “Whenever a team comes in and gets 19 offensive rebounds — 12 in the second half —I don’t think you’ve got a good chance of winning against a good team like that.”
GEORGIA 72, NO. 23 FLORIDA 60
ATHENS, Ga. — Yante Maten scored 20 points and Georgia recovered after blowing a halftime lead to beat No. 23 Florida.
Florida’s 36.5 percent shooting from the field was its second-worst in a Southeastern Conference game this season.
“It seemed like there was a lid on the basket for us at times,” said Florida Coach Mike White.
The lid was Georgia’s defense, which leads the SEC by holding opponents to 38.7 percent shooting.
Florida (15-7, 6-3 SEC) began the night in second place in the SEC, one game behind No. 11 Auburn.
Georgia (13-8, 4-5) had lost three consecutive and five of six, and players felt the pressure of fading NCAA Tournament hopes.
“Today everybody came with the spirit because we wanted it so bad to turn the season around,” said Tyree Crump, who sank two three-pointers in the first half.
Crump and freshman Nicolas Claxton, who had a game-high eight rebounds and three blocks, led Georgia’s bench.
The Gators recovered after trailing 37-32 at halftime to lead 48-43. Florida opened the second half with a 12-2 run that included two three-pointers by Jalen Hudson and a jam by KeVaughn Allen (North Little Rock) for a 44-39 edge.
Georgia regrouped and led 55-51 following a three-point play by Maten and stretched the lead to 60-53 on a three-pointer by Maten.
Kentucky’s Quade Green (middle) is congratulated by teammates Wenyen Gabriel (32) and Hamidou Diallo after hitting the game-winning shot that gave the Wildcats an 83-81 overtime victory over Vanderbilt on Tuesday in Lexington, Ky.