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The 3-pointer: Kentucky beats visiting Alabama basketball at own game, 81-71

Alabama basketball-Crimson Tide basketball-Donta Hall

The University of Alabama’s string of impressive Saturday wins came to an end in a familiar as a late run led to Kentucky pulling off a 81-71 home win.

Alabama hasn’t won at Rupp Arena since 2006 and Coach Avery Johnson is 0-6 against the Wildcats.

“They played like a really hungry basketball team, lots of energy,” Johnson said. “We didn’t play our best game, but we still have a high, high ceiling, another level to go to on both ends of the floor. We showed flashes of it, and hopefully in the next week or two we’ll get there.”

Junior forward Donta Hall had 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks, while a trio of freshmen all reached double digits in scoring. John Petty had 13 points, Collin Sexton notched 12 and Alex Reese matched his career high with 10 off the bench.

Look where Donta Hall caught this lob. Shee-ee-eesh. pic.twitter.com/aiUNuOb2CI — Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) February 17, 2018

The Wildcats (18-9, 7-7 SEC) snapped a four-game losing streak.

Freshman forward PJ Washington scored 16 points off the bench for Kentucky, but also had five turnovers, freshman forward Kevin Knox added 13 after sitting for 14 minutes due to early foul trouble and finishing the first half scoreless.

Freshman guard Quade Green netted 12 points, freshman forward Jarred Vanderbilt scored a career-high 11 off the bench to go with nine rebounds. Freshman forward Nick Richards added 10 points.

There were 15 lead changes in the game, with Alabama last ahead 59-58.

“I think we just got caught up in the moment, we start rushing and moving too fast,” Petty said during the postgame press conference. “We really wasn’t paying attention, we had plenty of time, we just let the game speed us up and we made careless turnovers.”

Here’s what we learned:

1. Kentucky basically beat Alabama at its own game

Like Alabama, Kentucky is long and athletic, and won by doing a lot of things that usually work in the Crimson Tide’s favor. The Wildcats had an 18-8 edge in points off turnovers, 71-39 advantage in bench scoring and Alabama scored just six fast-break points.

Although the Crimson Tide came in leading the SEC defensively (in league games only), Kentucky’s 39 points in the first half was its most before halftime in conference play this season.

2. Alabama needs to keep driving

The Wildcats were able to keep freshman guard Collin Sexton from attacking the rim and he finished with just four free-throw attempts. 12 points. Johnson wants his team to push the pace offensively, but too often it the Crimson Tide were settling for long shots.

They were 6-for-24 from beyond the arc. Considering Alabama only took 55 shots, that’s 43.7 percent of every attempt.

3. Alabama got beat on the boards

Kentucky outrebounded Alabama 44-27, including offensive boards.

“Kentucky played an outstanding game,” Johnson said. “Especially with their offensive rebounding, we knew coming into the game that we had to slow them down and transition and really do a great job on the board. Unfortunately this wasn’t our best night rebounding. They made us pay the price for it.”

He added: “He jumped as high as we could they just jumped a little bit higher.”

Alabama (17-10, 8-6  SEC) will visit No. 10 Auburn on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network). The Crimson Tide defeated the Tigers, 76-71, on Jan. 17.

The post The 3-pointer: Kentucky beats visiting Alabama basketball at own game, 81-71 appeared first on SEC Country.

Former South Carolina basketball star P.J. Dozier returns to Columbia

South Carolina basketball

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former South Carolina basketball star P.J. Dozier returned to Columbia on Saturday for the annual Legends Weekend.

Dozier, who’s made two appearances for the Oklahoma City Thunder, has spent most of his rookie season in the G-League. For the Oklahoma City Blue squad, he averages 12.5 points and 2.6 assists per game.

In the video above, Dozier talks about his transition from college to the pros.

The post Former South Carolina basketball star P.J. Dozier returns to Columbia appeared first on SEC Country.

WATCH: Auburn bench surrounds F Anfernee McLemore as sophomore carted off court

Just when it seemed things couldn’t get much worse for Auburn basketball on Saturday, the afternoon took a turn for the worst.

Sophomore forward Anfernee McLemore, coming off of one of his best performances of the year in Auburn’s win over Kentucky, suffered a horrific ankle injury as the first half was winding down.

At the time of the injury, the 6-foot-7 forward had just one point, but had 5 of the Tigers rebounds, which weren’t coming easy.

Moments before McLemore was carted off the floor on a stretcher, the entire Auburn basketball program surrounded its underclassman in a show of support.

Auburn players surround Anfernee McLemore moments before he’s carted into the tunnel. @LShute13 @JFergusonAU @SECcountry pic.twitter.com/yFtk5kKzor — Hale McGranahan (@Hale_SECcountry) February 17, 2018

Bruce Pearl has raved about his team’s chemistry this season as the Tigers have surpassed 20 wins and McLemore has been a big key to that and a significant starter and at times contributor off the bench.

On Wednesday against Kentucky, the undersized forward played 30 minutes, scoring 13 points and adding 11 rebounds.

McLemore has been a crucial presence for Auburn in the paint this season, and the team’s primary defensive spark. Coming into the game McLemore had blocked 71 shots, which was one of the highest totals in the country. He managed to add two more to that before differing the gruesome injury.

SEC Country will update this post.

The post WATCH: Auburn bench surrounds F Anfernee McLemore as sophomore carted off court appeared first on SEC Country.

Anfernee McLemore suffers horrific injury against South Carolina

Anfernee McLemore-auburnbasketball-injury-a

In the midst of a great season, a key Auburn basketball contributor went down with a serious injury in Saturday’s game against South Carolina.

Late in the first half of Auburn’s game against South Carolina, Anfernee McLemore went down with a very serious injury to his lower leg. Those who saw the injury happen live described it as Gordon Hayward-esque injury. Due to the severity of the injury, McLemore had to be carted off on a stretcher.

Anfernee McLemore, coming off of one of his best performances, is down with a horrific injury. — Lauren Shute (@LShute13) February 17, 2018 The entire Auburn bench walks out as McLemore is put on a stretcher. Absolutely sickening. — Lauren Shute (@LShute13) February 17, 2018 That's about as devastating of an injury as Auburn basketball could have. Anfernee McLemore was playing well above his height for an already small and shorthanded team. — Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) February 17, 2018 Auburn’s Anfernee McLemore hurt at South Carolina. Maybe ankle or foot. He raised his arm to acknowledge the crowd at he was carted off pic.twitter.com/DEddqmDOyF — Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) February 17, 2018 Pearl saw the injury in real-time and knew immediately it was serious. They've brought the stretcher out here almost immediately. #MGMAuburn — Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) February 17, 2018 Auburn players surround Anfernee McLemore moments before he’s carted into the tunnel. @LShute13 @JFergusonAU @SECcountry pic.twitter.com/yFtk5kKzor — Hale McGranahan (@Hale_SECcountry) February 17, 2018

McLemore was coming off his first career double-double in the Tigers win over Kentucky earlier in the week. The Auburn sophomore had been averaging 7.7 points per game and 5.3 rebounds on the season for South Carolina. McLemore was tied for second on the team in rebounds, and Auburn is already a team that is lacking front court depth.

The No. 10 Tigers game against South Carolina can be seen on SEC Network. Auburn trails 46-25 at halftime.

The post Anfernee McLemore suffers horrific injury against South Carolina appeared first on SEC Country.

Powerhouse performance as Arkansas baseball hammers Bucknell with 32 runs

SEC baseball-Arkansas-Arkansas baseball

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Bucknell is no match for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

If that wasn’t learned during Friday’s season-opener, a 32-4 Arkansas win, it sure was Saturday in Game 2. The Diamond Hogs absolutely hammered the Bison, a modern phenomenon of 32 runs against Bucknell’s 4. It was the most runs Arkansas has plated since 32 against St. Louis in 2010. Only the second time Arkansas has reached the 30-run mark in the last 20 years.

The scoring was in bunches and on the regular: three, six, seven, six, zero, five, three, four, one in the eight innings. Only one of the 16 position players who went to the plate didn’t reach base.

It was a showcase for the third-ranked team in the nation. So much so, in fact, the game became a bit of a slog as it went later. Fans started to leave early to head up Razorback Road where the basketball team was set to play Texas A&amp;M at Bud Walton Arena at 3 p.m.

Coach Dave Van Horn, still toying with his lineups and batting order, swapped out Jared Gates at third base for Ethan Martin. Jordan McFarland played first for Evan Lee (who pitched out of the bullpen).  McFarland responded with a 2 for 5 day with a walk and four runs. Martin, a freshman, went 3 for 5 with a homer, three runs and four RBI.

Those sorts of lines were common across the lineup. Bucknell used five different pitchers in an effort to slow Arkansas. Only Christian Tailor, who pitched in the eighth, manged. Every other Bison pitcher gave up at least four runs. None of them went longer than two innings.

Grading the Hogs

Pitching: B+

Evan Lee gave up a run in one inning. Zebulon Vermillion, a freshman in his first career appearance, gave up two in an inning. That’s the only thing that brought the grade from A to be. Campbell and Cody Scroggins (IP, 2 K) were good.

Hitting: A+

Yikes. Twenty-tow hits from a total of 12 different players. The 32 runs came from 13 different players. Six homers were hit. Fifteen walks were earned.

The Big Stick + The Arm

Arm: Campbell

His 78 pitches in just four innings was a bit burdensome given the opponent. However, that’s going to happen with strikeout pitchers. Campbell is one. He racked up seven, and two walks, against Bucknell. Also just gave up three hits. Great outing considering its his first in year.

Stick: Fletcher

Two extra-base hits for the sophomore centerfielder. He went 2 for 4 with a double, home run, five RBI and two runs.

What’s next for Arkansas?

The series finale is at noon Sunday.

The post Powerhouse performance as Arkansas baseball hammers Bucknell with 32 runs appeared first on SEC Country.

LSU survives wild last-second finish for 64-63 win over Missouri

lsu-lsu basketball-tremont waters

BATON ROUGE, La. — Missouri came into Saturday afternoon’s game at LSU as the hottest team in the SEC with five straight wins. Thanks to LSU guards Tremont Waters and Daryl Edwards, that streak is over.

Waters scored a game-high 21 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 9 seconds remaining, lifting LSU to a thrilling 64-63 win over the visiting Tigers.

Edwards made what appeared to be the game-clinching play on defense, subtly making sure he was outside of the no-charge semicircle underneath the basket before planting his feet and drawing the foul on an out-of-control drive by Missouri guard Kassius Robertson with 5 seconds left.

But like any streaking team, Mizzou wasn’t done until the final buzzer. Mizzou intercepted Edwards’ inbound pass to Waters, allowing Robertson to get off a good look for the win with 1 second remaining. But the off-balance attempt did not go down, allowing LSU to breathe a sigh of relief and pick up its fourth-straight home win.

The back-and-forth game featured 19 lead changes and 12 ties.

What’s next for LSU basketball?

The Tigers will look to avenge their road loss at Vanderbilt when the Commodores visit the PMAC at 8 p.m. CT on Tuesday night. Vandy beat LSU 77-71 in Nashville on Jan. 20.

The post LSU survives wild last-second finish for 64-63 win over Missouri appeared first on SEC Country.

WATCH: Alabama’s Donta Hall throws down enormous dunk off alley-oop

Donta Hall-Alabama-Crimson Tide-basketball-dunk-alley oop-Kentucky

With his team locked in a close game on the road against the Kentucky Wildcats, Alabama forward Donta Hall made the potential play of the day.

Running down the court in transition, Hall was on the receiving end of a perfect alley-oop pass from freshman guard John Petty. The result was thunderous:

WATCH YOUR HEAD! @AlabamaMBB connects on the alley-oop jam. pic.twitter.com/RHnDXfttCE — CBS Sports (@CBSSports) February 17, 2018

Hall, a 6-foot-9, 232-pound junior, rose up to catch the ball with his right hand, cocked it back a little bit, and then absolutely flushed it through the rim. You can hear the Alabama fans that made the trip to Rupp Arena get loud after the finish (and maybe even a few members of Big Blue Nation as well).

The Crimson Tide and Wildcats are in a one-possession battle that’s going down to the wire. For live score and updates, click here.

The post WATCH: Alabama’s Donta Hall throws down enormous dunk off alley-oop appeared first on SEC Country.

Mecose Todd details commitment to South Carolina

South Carolina recruiting-Mecose Todd

With an assist from one of his former players, South Carolina running backs coach Bobby Bentley reeled in the Gamecocks first 2020 commitment.

Mecose Todd, who committed to the Gamecocks during his first trip to South Carolina, spent a good portion of his Saturday with Bentley and Marcus Lattimore.

“They showed me a lot of love and I just felt welcomed,” Todd said.

Bentley, of course, is entering his third season as an assistant on Will Muschamp’s staff. Lattimore was recently hired by Muschamp to head up South Carolina’s beyond football program.

The former Gamecock running back appears to have made quite an impression on the 6-foot, 200-pound prospect from Villa Rica (Ga.) High School.

“What stood out to me was the way they do academics and how much they care about growing up as a person in life, instead of a football player, what you do after football,” Todd said.

Plus, Todd believes Muschamp has South Carolina headed in the right direction, so that certainly played a part, too.

“He’s trying to build the program up,” Todd said. “What he’s doing, I really like his ideas and I want to be a part of it.”

South Carolina landed his commitment over Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Southern California.

“South Carolina showed more love and made me feel more at home than any other SEC college, any other college in general,” Todd said.

The post Mecose Todd details commitment to South Carolina appeared first on SEC Country.

WATCH: Kentucky fan sinks $10,000 half-court shot at Rupp Arena

Rupp Arena-Kentucky-Kentucky basketball-half court shot

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky fan drilled a half-court shot Saturday at Rupp Arena that was worth $10,000.

He sank the shot in the second half of Kentucky’s game against Alabama. It was the loudest moment of the day, and quite the celebration ensued.

Watch the shot below:

For $10,000…buckets!!! pic.twitter.com/SVU8xViOFI — Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) February 17, 2018 A fan celebrates with @RaviMoss after hitting a half-court shot to win $10,000 @JonHale_CJ @FletcherPage #BBN pic.twitter.com/oNHUPywtdz — Michael Reaves (@MichaelMReaves) February 17, 2018

The post WATCH: Kentucky fan sinks $10,000 half-court shot at Rupp Arena appeared first on SEC Country.

Georgia offense will be something to behold this spring and fall

Georgia-Jake Fromm-Georgia football

ATHENS — You may have heard Kirby Smart’s latest “call of the Dogs.” It came at the end of his news conference last week on National Signing Day.

Never one to pass up an opportunity, Smart reached out to the Bulldog Nation to once again fill up Sanford Stadium for G-Day. You’ll recall that Georgia fans did that for him in his first year, the spring of 2016, when they turned “93K Day” into something that was probably more than that. Smart has acknowledged here and there that the atmosphere that day created the foundation for a lot of the positive recruiting work that has been done in the two years since. And there has been some exemplary work done.

With several other new coaches coming into the league this year, Smart is anticipating that they’ll be orchestrating a similar ploy. So that’s Georgia’s coach interjected a little “call of the Dogs” at the end of his presser asking for the Bulldog faithful to respond in kind.

“As we all know, every team that gets a new head coach in the SEC, what is the mantra? What is the battle cry? For their fan base to turn out and really represent their teams,” Smart said last Wednesday. “We need our fan base, who has done everything we’ve asked them to do, to turn out April 21st at 4 o’clock and be out there for G-Day in what we expect to be another sellout, packed opportunity to go out and represent University of Georgia and show these kids in recruiting that it does matter and it is special here.”

The post Georgia offense will be something to behold this spring and fall appeared first on SEC Country.

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