One Saturday down, several more to go. The SEC basketball season went into full swing with conference play beginning yesterday. Let’s take you through what happened in case you missed anything.
ALABAMA 77, KENTUCKY 75
Despite a late run, the Alabama Crimson Tide held off the Kentucky Wildcats in Tuscaloosa. ‘Bama won 77-75 to get their first conference win and put Kentucky in a rare spot. UK hasn’t been 0-1 in conference play since the 2010-11 season, and just the third time since the 2001-02 season. Tevin Mack erupted for 22 points and four others got into double figures. UK got five double figure scorers as well but simply just fell too short.
TENNESSEE 96, GEORGIA 50
The 3rd-ranked Tennessee Volunteers passed their first test in SEC play with flying colors. The Volunteers blew out the Georgia Bulldogs 96-50 at Thompson-Boling in a game that was never particularly close. They held a lead, at one point, that was up to 84-35 and UGA never once held a lead. Jordan Bowden had 20 opints, while Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield each put up 18.
ARKANSAS 73, TEXAS A&M 71
Despite trailing 55-53 at the 5:40 mark of the second half, the Arkansas Razorbacks stormed ahead in their matchup with the Texas A&M Aggies. But the Ags made a serious push late after falling behind 69-61. In the end though, Arkansas hung on to win 73-71 to get their first conference win of the season. The lead shrunk to 72-71 after a layup by Christian Mekowulu, but a free throw from Isaiah Joe put it up to two and then A&M had little time to get ahead. Jalen Harris had 15 points in the win, while Savion Flagg had 20 & 15 in the loss.
SOUTH CAROLINA 71, FLORIDA 69
A dunk by Chris Silva with a second left gave the South Carolina Gamecocks a stunning 71-69 win over the Florida Gators. South Carolina trailed Florida 58-44 at the 10:16 mark in the second half, but outscored the Gators 27-11 the rest of the way. Silva was incredibly integral in the comeback effort. He scored 14 of their 27 points in the final 10:16 of the game, with the other 13 going to A.J. Lawson, Felipe Haase, Keyshawn Bryant and Hassani Gravett. Gravett was particularly great as he scored 22 points on a 7-for-11 mark from the field.
OLE MISS 81, VANDERBILT 71
Breein Tyree exploded for 31 points as the Ole Miss Rebels took down the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. Tyree was sensational in a career-best effort in the points department. He only needed 16 shots to get those 31 points as he went 3-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc and 6-6 from the FT line. Three others — Devontae Shuler, Blake Hinson and Terence Davis — got into double figures as well, as all three scored 11 points apiece. Ole Miss is up to 11-2 on the year after this win and continues to be one of the biggest surprises in the SEC.