In Oxford, Mississippi, Sophomore forward Trendon Watford scored a game-high 21 points to give the Tigers a 75-62 win over Mississippi on Saturday.
Watford was one of four Tigers (8-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) in double figures during the team’s second straight conference win. Austin Crowley lead the way for the Rebels (6-4, 1-2) with 10 points.
LSU lost freshman guard Cameron Thomas to an ankle injury after four minutes, but Watford, guard Javonte Smart and forward Darius Days were able to pick up the slack offensively. Smart had 17 points while Days added 15.
It’s unclear how long the Tigers could be without Thomas, the SEC’s leading scorer. LSU coach Will Wade said after the game that the injury didn’t appear to be serious.
The Tigers got out to a 39-21 halftime lead behind a strong defense that forced 20 Mississippi turnovers. The Tigers also made eight 3s and held the Rebels under 40% from the field.
This game was a last-minute addition to the schedule. LSU’s game against Missouri was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test and contact tracing within Missouri’s program.
Mississippi State built another 10-point lead with just under five to play only to see Pippen score nine of his points down the stretch. Pippen and Disu scored 17 of the Commodore’s last 20 points.
Arkansas 99, Georgia 69: In Fayetteville, Ark., Moses Moody and Davonte Davis combined for 45 points, five reached double figures in scoring and Arkansas (10-2, 2-2) raced away to win over Georgia.
With a six-point lead at the half, Arkansas strung together runs of 12-0 and 14-3 to break the game open in the final 20 minutes. The Razorbacks were 60% shooting in the second half (21 of 35) and 75% from deep, making 6 of 8 3-pointers.
Arkansas rebounded from back-to-back losses to ranked Missouri and Tennessee and will next travel to LSU on Wednesday. Georgia (7-3, 0-3) plays host to Auburn on Wednesday.
Kentucky 76, Florida 58: In Gainesville, Fla., Keion Brooks Jr. scored 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting and Kentucky more closely resembled its No. 10 pre-season ranking by throttling Florida (5-3, 2-2) .
Though topping 70 points for the third straight game, the Wildcats exerted high energy on the defensive end and held Florida to 37.5% shooting and scored 25 points off 16 Gators turnovers.
The Wildcats (4-6, 3-0) used a 16-4 run to start the second half after leading 35-29 at the break.
No. 9 Tenessee 68, Texas A&M 54: In College Station, Texas, sophomore guard Santiago Vescovi scored a career-high 23 points, including six 3-pointers, and No. 9 Tennessee beat Texas A&M.
Vescovi’s hot hand began early for the Vols (9-1, 3-1) as he hit his first four shots from behind the arc. His barrage was a part of a 17-4 Tennessee run that pushed the Volunteers’ lead to 14 midway through the opening half.
Senior Savion Flagg was the Aggies’ saving grace at the end of the first, connecting on three consecutive 3-pointers to pull the Aggies (6-4, 1-3) within six.
Texas A&M closed out the first half hitting five of its final six from 3-point range and trailed 37-30 at halftime.
Tennessee’s ball movement continued to open gaps in the Aggies defense to start the second half, leading to a 9-4 run.
Tennessee was unable to widen its margin to more than 14 through most of the second half, and the Aggies only managed to pull under 10 once.
A 9-2 run at the end of the game, including five points by Vescovi, secured the victory.
Alabama 94, Auburn 90: In Auburn, Ala., Joshua Primo scored a career-high 22 points, Jordan Bruner added a season-high 20 and first-place Alabama edged last-place Auburn despite a strong debut by freshman point guard Sharife Cooper.
After seven lead changes, a Jaden Shackelford 3 gave Alabama (9-3, 4-0) a four-point lead that they extended to eight with 6 1/2 minutes left despite Cooper scoring 11 straight points. With 6:15 to go, two Cooper free throws began a 10-0 run that he concluded with a dunk for a 84-82 lead with 4:43 remaining.
Again, the lead went back and forth before Herbert Jones made two free throws and Bruner followed his own miss with a basket for a 93-90 edge with a minute to go. Cooper missed consecutive long-range shots and then turned the ball over with nine seconds remaining.
Alabama led 37-36 at halftime, but after Cooper sent a pass to JT Thor for a one-handed dunk to get Auburn (6-6, 0-4) within one, the Tigers took their first lead on a three-point play by Devan Cambridge with under 16 minutes left in the game.
Mississippi St. 84, Vanderbilt 81: In Nashville, Tenn., Iverson Molinar scored 24 points, D.J. Stewart Jr. added 16 and Mississippi State (8-4, 3-1) made just enough free throws in the closing seconds to hold off Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt’s (4-5, 0-3) Scotty Pippen Jr. scored 18 points, dished 12 assists and Vanderbilt hit three 3-pointers on its last four shots, coming as close as 82-81 with eight seconds left. Pippen found Trey Thomas for 3 with 18 seconds to go and again to Dylan Disu for 3 at eight seconds.
Pippen had the ball with three seconds left before losing it in the backcourt and fouling.
Mississippi State led 36-35 after a first half that saw 10 lead changes, five ties and neither team ahead by more than seven.
Molinar sparked a 10-2 run with a jumper-and-one, that gave the Bulldogs some separation at 61-50 with 11:01 remaining. The Commodores erased 10 of those points in less than three minutes.