Vols ex­tend streak by beat­ing Ga­tors

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL -

NO. 1 TEN­NESSEE 73, FLORIDA 61

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Grant Wil­liams scored 16 points as No. 1 Ten­nessee de­feated Florida 73-61 on Satur­day to com­plete a sea­son sweep of the Ga­tors and ex­tend its school-record win­ning streak to 18 games.

Ten­nessee (22-1, 10-0 SEC) owns the long­est ac­tive win­ning streak of any Di­vi­sion I team. This also marks the big­gest win­ning streak of Rick Barnes’ 32-year head coach­ing ca­reer, sur­pass­ing the 17-game string that started Texas’ 2009-10 sea­son.

Florida (12-11, 4-6) has lost three con­sec­u­tive and four of its last five.

Ten­nessee en­tered the day lead­ing the SEC in scor­ing (86.0) while Florida had the SEC’s top scor­ing de­fense (63.4). Ten­nessee ended up below its scor­ing av­er­age but still won that matchup by shoot­ing 52.8 per­cent (28 of 53), in­clud­ing 59.3 per­cent (16 of 27) in the sec­ond half.

Ad­mi­ral Schofield scored 14 points, Jor­dan Bow­den had 13 and Jor­dan Bone added 10 for Ten­nessee. Noah Locke scored 17, Jalen Hud­son had 15 and KeVaughn Allen added 11 for Florida.

Florida cut Ten­nessee’s lead to 40-36 with 17:37 left, but Ten­nessee an­swered with a 12-2 run that in­cluded con­sec­u­tive three-point­ers from La­monte’ Turner. Af­ter Florida scored seven con­sec­u­tive points to get the mar­gin down to seven, Ten­nessee re­sponded with a 9-0 run that fea­tured an­other Turner three-pointer plus two dunks from Schofield.

NO. 5 KEN­TUCKY 71, MIS­SIS­SIPPI STATE 67

STARKVILLE, Miss. — PJ Wash­ing­ton scored 23 points, Kel­don John­son added 13 and No. 5 Ken­tucky held on to beat Mis­sis­sippi State.

Ken­tucky (20-3, 9-1 SEC) has won 10 con­sec­u­tive games since los­ing to Alabama in its con­fer­ence opener on Jan. 5. The Wild­cats had to work for this one af­ter an 18-point lead dwin­dled to one pos­ses­sion with 1:18 left, but the Bull­dogs weren’t able to score again.

Mis­sis­sippi State (16-7, 4-6) led 17-15 mid­way through the first half, but Tyler Herro nailed a con­tested three-pointer to give Ken­tucky the lead. The Wild­cats outscored the Bull­dogs 25-8 over the rest of the first half for a 40-25 half­time ad­van­tage.

Lamar Peters led the Bull­dogs with 16 points.

NO. 21 LSU 83, AUBURN 78

BA­TON ROUGE — Tre­mont Wa­ters had 19 points and 10 as­sists and No. 21 LSU over­came a slug­gish start to beat Auburn 83-78 on Satur­day.

Sky­lar Mays had 20 points for LSU (19-4, 9-1 SEC). While Auburn shot bet­ter from deep, Naz Reid and Kavell Bigby-Wil­liams helped LSU own the paint, where it out­re­bounded Auburn 47-34 and outscored it 38-18.

Reid fin­ished with 13 points and 10 re­bounds, in­clud­ing a re­v­erse, tom­a­hawk dunk late in the sec­ond half. Bigby-Wil­liams, an Ore­gon trans­fer in his first el­i­gi­ble sea­son at LSU, grabbed 10 re­bounds to go with seven points, high­lighted by a cou­ple of vi­cious two-handed dunks.

Jared Harper scored 25 for Auburn (16-7, 5-5).

MIS­SIS­SIPPI 80, GE­OR­GIA 64

ATHENS, Ga. — Breein Tyree scored 31 points, his fifth con­sec­u­tive game with at least 20, and Mis­sis­sippi beat Ge­or­gia, giv­ing the strug­gling Bull­dogs their fourth con­sec­u­tive loss.

Ole Miss (16-7, 6-4 SEC) leaned heav­ily on Tyree, who matched his ca­reer scor­ing high. The ju­nior guard reached 20 points, scor­ing on a drive about seven min­utes into the sec­ond half, be­fore any team­mate was in dou­ble fig­ures.

The Rebels have re­cov­ered from a four-game los­ing streak with two con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries.

Rayshaun Ham­monds scored 10 points be­fore foul­ing out with about five min­utes re­main­ing for Ge­or­gia (10-13, 1-9). The Bull­dogs have lost eight of their last nine games.

TEXAS A&M 68, MIS­SOURI 59

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Wen­dell Mitchell scored 20 points to help Texas A&M erase a 12-point, sec­ond-half deficit and beat Mis­souri.

TJ Starks scored 15 points, Chris­tian Mekowulu added 15 points and 10 re­bounds, and Savion Flagg fin­ished with 12 points for the Ag­gies (9-13, 2-8 SEC).

Javon Pick­ett led Mis­souri (11-11, 2-8) with 15 points, and Tor­rence Wat­son and Jor­dan Geist each scored 12. Ju­nior for­ward Reed Nikko, mak­ing his first ca­reer start, fin­ished with a sea­son-high eight points.

The Ag­gies trailed 30-21 at half­time, but Starks sparked a come­back by blow­ing by de­fend­ers and con­vert­ing drives to the bas­ket. Flagg’s three-pointer in tran­si­tion gave the Ag­gies the lead at 46-44 with 7:23 re­main­ing. They pulled away late as Mis­souri frit­tered away of­fen­sive pos­ses­sions with 10 sec­ond-half turnovers.

ALABAMA 77, VAN­DER­BILT 67

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ri­ley Nor­ris scored six points in the fi­nal 2:13, and Alabama beat Van­der­bilt for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive vic­tory for the Crim­son Tide.

Alabama (15-8, 6-4 SEC) started a two-game road swing with its third vic­tory in four games. Kira Lewis Jr. led the Tide with 18 points, Nor­ris fin­ished with 15, and Da­zon In­gram had 12.

Van­der­bilt (9-14, 0-10) now is mired in the pro­gram’s long­est skid in 34 years at 11 con­sec­u­tive losses. Saben Lee led Van­der­bilt with 24 points and Simisola Shittu had 11.

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