El Dorado News-Times
Texas A&M rallies past Arkansas 67-61
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Wade Taylor scored 18 points and No. 18 Texas A&M rallied from a 13-point deficit early in the second half to beat Arkansas 67-61 Friday night in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Texas A&M (24-8) advanced for the second straight year to the semifinals, where it will face either Vanderbilt or No. 23 Kentucky on Saturday. The Aggies lost to Tennessee in the 2022 championship game.
Henry Coleman III had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Texas A&M. Dennis Dexter and Radford each added 11 points.
Arkansas (20-13) now must wait until Sunday's NCAA Tournament bracket announcement to learn its postseason fate.
Nick Smith led Arkansas with 16 points and Makhi Mitchell finished with 15.
Jordan Walsh made a 3-point shot at the buzzer to give the Razorbacks a 38-25 lead at halftime.
Texas A&M trailed 40-27 early in the second half before surging to take a 46-45 lead on Dexter's jump shot with 10:26 remaining.
Texas A&M outrebounded Arkansas 43-26 and had a 36-28 scoring edge in the paint . ... Arkansas had nine steals in forcing Texas A&M into 15 turnovers. The Razorbacks used that to give them a 15-5 scoring difference in fast-break points. They also had a big advantage in blocked shots at 11-2.
Arkansas: Will wait to see where it will play next.
Texas A&M: Semifinals in the SEC tourney.
NO. 25 MISSOURI 79, NO. 17 TENNESSEE 71
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nick Honor hit a 3-pointer with 1:45 left to put Missouri ahead to stay, and the 25th-ranked Tigers beat No. 17 Tennessee to reach the Southeastern Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time since joining the league.
The Tigers (24-8), who joined the SEC in 2012, will play fourth-ranked Alabama on Saturday. The Crimson Tide, the regular-season champ never trailed in beating Mississippi State 72-49 earlier Friday.
Missouri won its fifth straight this season to snap a three-game skid in the SEC quarterfinals. The Tigers did it by knocking off the defending tourney champ in a taut game featuring 15 ties and 11 lead changes.
The last tie was at 69, and Honor put Missouri ahead to stay with his 3.
The Tigers then forced a turnover on Tennessee's inbound pass by Julian Phillips. D'Moi Hodge knocked down another 3 to give the Tigers their biggest lead of the game at 75-69 with 1:25 remaining. Missouri finished on a 10-2 run for the win.
Hodge led Missouri with 26 points, 17 in the second half. Kobe Brown added 24 and nine rebounds, and DeAndre Gholston had 10.
Tennessee (23-10) snapped a 41-year drought in this event by winning the tourney title in Tampa last year.
Now these Volunteers go into the NCAA Tournament having lost four of their last seven overall.
Santiago Vescovi led five Vols in double digits with 17 points. Tyreke Key had 16, Jahmai Mashack 14, Olivier Nkamhoua added 11 points and 10 rebounds and Julian Phillips 10.
Missouri took the lead for the last time on a pair of free throws by Brown with 4:12 left. Tennessee.
The Volunteers led 33-30 at halftime thanks to Mashack answering a 3-pointer by Brown with 11 seconds left by beating the buzzer with his own 3. Mashack made it just after crossing the half-court line.
Tennessee has the best defense in all of Division I except against Missouri. The Vols came in holding opponents to a nation-low 25.8% shooting from 3-point range and 36.4% from the floor. They also had been holding oppnents to an average of 57.4 points a game.
Missouri improved to a perfect 9-0 in games decided by five or fewer points. The Tigers came into the postseason among eight teams unbeaten in such games and the only team with at least eight such wins. ... The Tigers shot 60% (18 of 30) in the second half, and that included knocking down 7 of 13 (58.3%) outside the arc.
NO. 4 ALABAMA 72, MISSISSIPPI STATE 49
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brandon Miller had 18 points and nine rebounds and No. 4 Alabama never trailed in posting a victory over Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
The top-seeded Crimson Tide (27-5) set the pace in the first half hitting 8-of-20 shots from long range. Charles Bediako and Noah Gurley added 11 points apiece for Alabama, and Jahvon Quinerly scored 10.
Alabama will play No. 25 Missouri, a 79-71 winner over 17th-ranked Tennessee, in the semifinal on Saturday.
“I thought our guys did a good job opening the game,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said.
“I thought we did a good job closing the half. I think over the final 12 minutes of the first half, they were 3 for 19. We went into the half great."
Oats had hoped to rest his starters after the first four minutes of the second half but Tolu Smith got hot and changed those plans.
The Bulldogs (21-12) were scoreless in their first six possessions including a pair of turnovers. They hit 8 of 31 field goal attempts and missed all five of their shots from 3-point range.
“It was a tough day,” Mississippi State coach Chris Jans said. “We’re best when we get off to a really good start. Obviously, we didn’t. They had great energy out of the locker room. They kind of punched us in the face. We were playing from behind, playing uphill all night long.”
Smith led Mississippi State with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Dashawn Davis scored 13 points.
Alabama led 41-21 at halftime, too big an advantage for Mississippi State to overcome with the Crimson Tide opening up a 25-point lead with 1:14 left on a layup by Nimari Burnette on a fastbreak.
With 5:40 remaining, Mississippi State trimmed the Crimson Tide’s lead to 57-43 on a layup by D.J. Jeffries. The Bulldogs would not get any closer.
The Crimson Tide made a season-high 20 assists.