March 15, 2013
UTsports.com SEC Tournament correspondent William Mayfield recapped Thursday's non-Tennessee games from Bridgestone Arena.
LSU 68, Georgia 63 Despite 25 second-half points from SEC Player of the year Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia (15-18) was unable to rally from a 39-19 halftime deficit to the LSU Tigers (20-11) Thursday. Caldwell-Pope finished with 32 points, but Shavon Coleman's 24 points, in addition to a double-double from first-team All-SEC forward Johnny O'Bryant III, proved to be too much for the Bulldogs in what will most likely be their final game of the season. Coleman was nearly perfect Thursday, as he went 9-for-11 from the field. LSU faces Florida Friday at 1 p.m. ET. Florida defeated the Tigers 74-52 in Baton Rouge earlier this season in the teams' only matchup of the year.
Note: Florida led the league with four players named to the coaches' All-SEC teams.
Vanderbilt 75, Arkansas 72 The Vanderbilt Commodores (16-16) pulled off the biggest upset of the SEC Tournament so far Thursday, defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks (19-14) in the evening session. The Commodores were boosted by huge performances from forward Rod Odom (20 points) and guard Kyle Fuller (19 points) on their way to beating an Arkansas team that felt it had a chance to make a run in this tournament. The big difference in the game was 3-point shooting. The Commodores made 12 from long range on 28 attempts compared to Arkansas' 4-for-16 effort. Vanderbilt led by double digits for much of the game but struggled with turnovers and free-throw shooting down the stretch. Vanderbilt plays Kentucky Friday in what is likely to be one of the highest-attended games of the tournament.
Note: The Arkansas loss marks the fifth straight year the Razorbacks have failed to win a game in the SEC Tournament.
Missouri 62, Texas A&M 50 The No. 6-seed Missouri Tigers (23-9) took advantage of a fatigued Texas A&M (19-15) team en route to a 12-point victory in Thursday's night cap. Alex Oriakhi led the way for the Tigers with 13 points in a game the Tigers handled more easily than the score indicates. Missouri was impressive defensively. holding Texas A&M to 14-of-58 shooting from the field. Playing with a broken finger, Aggies first-team All-SEC guard Elston Turner never really got going, as he totaled just seven points on 3-of-17 shooting. Missouri battles Ole Miss Friday at 10 p.m. ET. The Tigers and Rebels split their regular-season series, with each team winning handily at home.
Note: Missouri forward Alex Oriakhi is the only non-Kentucky player in the SEC to have participated in a national championship game. He was a member of Connecticut's 2011 National Championship team.