SEC Basketball Roundup

The LSU men's basketball team used a school-record tying 13 three pointers to take a commanding early lead and then held off the Northwestern State Demons, 91-54, on Sunday afternoon in the Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU (6-1) made 13 three pointers including nine in the first half to dishearten the cold-shooting Demons (2-5) in the opening minutes of the game. Collis Temple III had a double-double and led the Tigers with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Ronald Dupree scored 15 points and Torris Bright made 7-of-9 shots including five three pointers for 19 points.

Northwestern State was led by 6-11 D'or Fischer, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Michael Byars-Dawson had 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting.

LSU finished the game shooting 51.5 percent from the field (34 of 66) including 13-of-23 three pointers (56.5 percent), while holding NSU to 32.3 percent (21 of 65) from the field. The Demons made only 4-of-25 three-point attempts for 16.0 percent.

The Demons were led by Jerrold McRae who had five points, while six other NSU players had between two and four points.

LSU made nine of its first 12 shots including 4-of-6 three pointers to jump out to 22-9 lead, while it held the Demons to around 30 percent from the field. Temple and Bright combined for 13 of the 22 points on 5-of-6 shooting with three treys.

The teams combined for only a pair of baskets between the 12:58 and 7:14 marks of the first half, as LSU cooled to 55 percent and Northwestern State stayed at 31.5.

However, LSU went on an 11-3 run to extend the lead to 37-16 with 4:14 to play in the half. Temple, Dupree and Hudson each hit wide open threes during the stretch.

Bright and Temple added another pair of threes and Dupree added a dunk to extend the lead to 45-21 going into the lockerroom.

LSU opened the second half just as it closed the first, with Bright hitting a three pointer. Brad Bridgewater then scored consecutive baskets on a post move and a dunk off a fast break. LSU extended the lead to 55-25 on Temple's fourth three of the game and LSU's 11th.

Both team again struggled from the field over the next three minutes, as neither team made a field goal. The teams traded baskets until the Tigers then earned their largest lead of the game on a free throw by Thomas Davis with 8:41 to play, 67-35. LSU went up 34 on a high flying alley-oop dunk from Charlie Thompson to Dupree.

NSU made a bit of a comeback as the LSU reserves struggled to handle and shoot the ball. The lead was cut from 34 to 21, 72-51, with 3:44 remaining in the game. Brady then re-entered Torris Bright who answered with his fifth three pointer.

Pete Bozek, the Tigers' last body off the bench, tied the school record with LSU's 13th three pointer late in the contest to put LSU up 85-51. The Tigers have made 13 treys four times in school history, most recently in 1995. Bozek finished with a career-high five points.

LSU returns to action on Tuesday night in the second half of a women's/men's basketball doubleheader with UL-Lafayette at 7 p.m. in the PMAC.

No. 6 Florida 81, Tulane 65

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - After spending the first half on the bench with foul trouble, Udonis Haslem scored all 12 of his points in the second to lift No. 6 Florida to an 81-65 victory over Tulane on Sunday.

Freshman James White had 12 points and Matt Bonner led Florida (4-1) with 16 points and eight rebounds, as the Gators struggled through most of the first half and settled for a less-than-overwhelming victory.

Marcus Kinzer had 13 points for Tulane (4-1), which was off to its first 4-0 start since 1991, but found itself overmatched by Florida, even though the Gators struggled.

This game might have been different had Linton Johnson been in the lineup for the Green Wave. Johnson, a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 13 points and eight rebounds last season, is suspended until late December for violating athletic department policy.

The Gators dominated inside, but they also found out what it's like to play short-handed when Haslem drew two fouls in the span of 100 seconds.

Billy Donovan put Haslem on the bench and inserted Bonell Colas. Colas was serviceable - he finished with 8 points - but he isn't Haslem, a 6-9, 250-pound inside force considered one of the best centers in the country.

Haslem shot 6-for-6 and had four rebounds. He showed what a difference he can make at the start of the second half, scoring nine straight points for the Gators to expand a nine-point lead to 17. White followed with three straight baskets to push Florida's advantage to 59-39.

Brett Nelson scored 12 points on a 3-for-13 shooting day. His school-record stretch of 33 games with a 3-pointer came to an end. The Gators shot 3-for-21 from 3-point range and 31-for-44 inside the arc.

Brandon Spann had 10 points on 4-for-18 shooting for the Green Wave.

Mississippi State 73, South Alabama 66

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (6-0) received clutch free throw shooting and a key turnover from visiting South Alabama (2-3) down the stretch, as the Bulldogs defeated the visiting Jaguars 73-66 Sunday afternoon at Humphrey Coliseum.

Marckell Patterson and Mario Austin scored 14 points apiece to lead a quartet of State players in double figures, with Patterson hitting on 10-of-11 from the charity stripe. Michal Ignerski added a career-high 13 points and a team most eight rebounds for the Maroon and White, while sophomore Timmy Bowers came off the bench to score a career-high 12 points.

Henry Williams and Demetrice Williams both scored a game-high 17 points to pace the Jaguars. Jamaicus Ricks added 15 points off the USA bench.

Mississippi State shot a season-low 41.9 percent from the field, but South Alabama offset the advantage by hitting on just 42.1 percent (8-19) of its free throw attempts, including a 1-4 effort in the final 68 ticks of the contest.

"Give South Alabama credit, they really shot the ball well in the first half," said Mississippi State head coach Rick Stansbury, who coached in his 100th career game at the Bulldog helm against South Alabama Sunday. "We came out in the second half and took control of the game, then we got a 16-point lead and absolutely quit playing. The game came too easy for us. We have to learn to play better through stretches like that."

Mississippi State took a game-high, 17-point lead on an Austin layup 1:02 into the second stanza, but South Alabama hung around long enough to cut the lead to single digits, 56-48, on a Henry Williams lay-in with 10:07 remaining. The Bulldogs pushed their lead back out to 12 points with 4:54 remaining, but the Jaguars used crucial MSU turnovers and a hot hand from the field to get to within three points, 67-64, with 1:08 remaining.

Patterson connected on all six of his free throw attempts in the final minute, while State also capitalized on a turnover off the foot of all-Sun Belt guard Demetrice Williams with 19.5 seconds left, to seal the victory.

"We weren't intending to make the game close, we were trying to win the game," said South Alabama head coach Bob Weltlich. "We didn't shoot free throws like we needed to and we didn't rebound very well. But, I thought as the game went on, we grew up a lot. We found out some things about some players."

State, who has yet to trail on the scoreboard during any of its five home games this season, scored the game's first nine points to get off to a healthy lead just less than three minutes into the game before South Alabama utilized consecutive three-pointers and a jumper by Henry Williams to knot the score at 11 with 13:06 remaining in the opening half. However, Bowers' jumper 45 seconds later sparked the hosts on a 22-7 run that gave Mississippi State a 33 18 lead with just under four-and-a-half minutes to play.

Mississippi State will return to action this Wednesday when the Bulldogs travel to Richmond, Va., to take on the University of Richmond Spiders of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at the 9,171-seat Robins Center. The Bulldogs will then return home to play host to their fourth Sun Belt Conference foe of the season, as the Arkansas State Indians invade Humphrey Coliseum next Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

Vanderbilt 80, No. 17 W. Kentucky 75

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Western Kentucky found out Sunday night how tough life can be without Chris Marcus.

Brendan Plavich scored 13 points to lead five Vanderbilt players in double figures as the Commodores upset No. 17 Western Kentucky 80-75 for their third consecutive victory and 10th straight in this series.

The 7-foot-1 Marcus stood at the end of the bench with his left ankle in a walking boot due to a stress fracture that school officials said will keep him out 4-to-6 weeks. The center looked as if he wanted to pull off his suit jacket and play as his Hilltoppers (4-2) lost a second straight game and their first without him.

Vanderbilt (5-2) played the game four miles from its cozy home court at Memorial Gym, but the Commodores didn't have any trouble playing at the Gaylord Entertainment Center despite a crowd nearly evenly split between the teams.

The Commodores grabbed the lead for good at 12-10 and led by as many as 14 points in the first half and 11 in the second half.

Matt Freije and Brian Thornton each had 12 points for Vanderbilt, while Sam Howard and Chuck Moore each added 11.

The Hilltoppers got within 76-75 when Raynardo Curry stole the ball from Plavich and drove in for a layup with 53 seconds left.

That was as close as they would get because Vanderbilt hit all four free throws over the final 23 seconds, and Derek Robinson missed a 3-pointer from the right corner and David Boyden missed a 3 just before the buzzer.

Boyden led the Hilltoppers with 17 points, while Nate Williams had 13 and Filip Videnov and Patrick Sparks each had 11.

Corey Smith's layup put Vanderbilt ahead to stay and started a 17-3 run that made it 27-13 with 5:04 left. Sparks scored all of his 11 points - all bit two on 3-pointers - over the final 4:45 as the Hilltoppers pulled within 35-30 at halftime.

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