In the first game of the 2014 SEC Tournament, South Carolina handled Auburn 74-56.
Hot shooting from the outside carried the day for the Gamecocks, as they connected on 11-of-15 from deep. Duane Notice came off the Carolina bench to lead all scorers with 23, including four makes from downtown. Chris Denson led Auburn with 14 points in his final game. The Gamecocks ran out to a 12-point halftime lead, and they made it stick throughout the second half as Auburn never was able to cut the defect to single digits.
South Carolina advances to play Arkansas tomorrow. This one also turned out to be the final game for Tony Barbee, who Auburn fired at the team hotel after the game.
In the late game, Mississippi State outlasted Vanderbilt 82-68.
Craig Sword swashbuckled his way to 20 points for the Bulldogs, who took a 9-8 lead a little less than four minutes into the game and never trailed the rest of the way. Vandy made a second half charge to cut the lead to six at 52-46 with about 11 minutes to go, but MSU pulled away again and kept the Commodores at arm's length to the end. Damian Jones led VU with 16 points, while Rod Odom and Dai-Jon Parker each had 15. Roquez Johnson backed up Sword with 18 points of his own for MSU.
Mississippi State advances to play Ole Miss tomorrow.