The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    On the hardwood: a trip around the SEC

    MSU 67, Georgia 61

    Mississippi State built a 19-point lead in the first half and coasted to a 67-61 road win over Georgia (9-10, 0-4 SEC) Saturday despite the best comeback efforts of the home team.
    MSU (14-6, 4-1) built its lead on a 21-point first-half performance by sophomore sharpshooter Ravern Johnson.
    In the second half, Johnson was held scoreless due to Georgia swapping its focus. That decision meant less attention paid to junior center Jarvis Varnado, who finished the game with 14 points after being held to two in the first frame.
    “I started picking up a little more because they stopped sagging off me,” Varnado said. “The floor was more spread so I could go to work.”
    Varnado said he didn’t mind taking the focus of the defense and letting the outside shooters do the scoring.
    “I was just being patient and letting the guards do their work,” he said.
    Georgia was led by Ricky McPhee, who came off the bench and hit five three-pointers. Four came in the second half and helped the home Bulldogs make their late run.
    As a team, Georgia matched State’s 9-of-24 performance from beyond the arc.
    With 7:21 remaining in the game, Georgia cut MSU’s lead to two points on a three-pointer by McPhee. MSU quickly answered, however, when junior guard Barry Stewart responded with a three of his own.
    MSU head coach Rick Stansbury said he was proud of his young team’s performance.
    “Any time you go on the road in this league it’s not easy, particularly with a young team,” he said.
    The Bulldogs don’t play again until Saturday when they host in-state rival Ole Miss.
    Stansbury said though time off can mess up a team’s
    rhythm, he relishes the opportunity for his team to rest mentally and physically and get better.
    The Rebels currently have only one SEC win and face SEC leader Kentucky tonight. The home team has won the last seven games in the series.

    Auburn 73, Arkansas 51

    Arkansas remained winless in the SEC Saturday and Auburn picked up its second win in the most lopsided home loss for Arkansas since the debut of Bud Walton Arena in 1993.
    Auburn shot 7-of-8 from downtown in the first half en route to a seven-point halftime lead. The Tigers closed out the game on a 14-0 run.
    The visitors were led by Dwayne Reed, who finished with 16 points. Korvotney Barber added 15 points and 18 rebounds. Tay Waller was close behind, scoring 14.

    Kentucky 61, Alabama 51

    Kentucky finished its dominant run through the conference schedule and Jodie Meeks once again led the Wildcats with 27 points. UK prevailed despite a six-point halftime deficit and the loss of starting guard Ramon Harris, who collapsed at halftime. Harris’ condition is listed as day-to-day.
    The Tide shot only 29 percent from the field due to three guards combining for 6-of-30 shooting. Alabama’s leading scorer was JaMychal Green.

    S. Carolina 82, Miss. 71

    The Gamecocks took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Devan Downey with four seconds remaining in the first half in Oxford Saturday.
    That basket was the front end of a 26-5 run for the Gamecocks, including the first 11 points of the second half, that put the Rebels away for good.
    David Huertas of Ole Miss led all scorers with 25 points.

    Memphis 54, Tenn. 52

    Tennessee went outside the conference to host in-state foe No. 22 Memphis, last year’s national runner-up.
    Tyreke Evans scored 17 points, including the Tigers’ final seven.
    The score remained 53-52 for more than two minutes, until Evans sank a free throw with one second remaining to cap the scoring.
    Wayne Chism led the Vols with 15 points, including Tennessee’s last 11. Tyler Smith followed with 13 points and 10 rebounds. J.P. Prince also cracked double digits with 10 points.
    Neither team shot the ball well, with Memphis earning a slight edge in field goal percentage with 33.9 percent to Tennessee’s 32.7 percent.
    The game was a rematch of last year’s classic No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup in which Tennessee knocked off Memphis to take control of the AP poll’s top spot.

    Xavier 80, LSU 70

    LSU also hosted a ranked nonconference opponent, dropping its first home loss of the season.
    No. 15 Xavier, of the Atlantic 10, toppled the Tigers thanks to a 22-point performance by Derrick Brown and a 21-point showing by B.J. Raymond.
    LSU senior guard Marcus Thornton followed a 31-point showing against Mississippi State with 30 points in the loss. Tasmin Mitchell and Bo Spencer each added 10 points for the Tigers.
    LSU, after outrebounding MSU by 20 Wednesday, lost the rebounding battle 40-27.

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    The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
    On the hardwood: a trip around the SEC