LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — CJ Fredrick scored 17 points in leading No. 4 Kentucky to a 106-63 win over South Carolina State. The Wildcats rebounded easily from an 86-77 double loss to unranked Michigan State two nights earlier in the Champions Classic. Chris Livingston had 13 points, while Lance Ware and Cason Wallace each had 12 points. Kentucky senior forward Oscar Tshiebwe came off the bench for the second straight game and finished with six points and seven rebounds, ending his streak of 17 consecutive double-doubles dating back to last season. He is recovering from minor knee surgery. Rakeim Gary led South Carolina State with 13 points.
CONWAY, SC (AP) — JaCobi Wood scored 23 points and Murray State held off No. 24 Texas A&M 88-79 in the Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Racers will face UMass in the semifinals as Texas A&M takes on Colorado on Friday. The win was Murray State’s first over a ranked team in a decade. Kenny White Jr. added 18 points, Jamari Smith had 17 and Rob Perry had 12. Murray State shot 50% and made 10 of 22 3-point attempts. Tyrece Radford scored 19 points to lead Texas Tech. Wade Taylor IV added 16, Manny Obaseki scored 12 and Julius Marble scored 11.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Derek Fountain scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half as LSU started ahead and the Tigers defeated New Orleans 91-62. Fountain, a Mississippi State transfer, was 4-of-5 from the field and 6-of-6 on the line along with eight rebounds and seven of LSU’s 17 steals in just 17 minutes. Justice Hill scored in double figures for the third straight game with 12 points for LSU. Cam Hayes had 13 points. Khaleb Wilson-Rouse led New Orleans (2-1) with a season-high 21 points with Tyson Jackson adding 14.
CHARLESTON, SC (AP) — James Moors had a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds, as Colorado State beat South Carolina 85-53 in the Charleston Classic. Colorado State scored 54 points in the paint, one more than South Carolina’s point total. The Gamecocks shot it 16 times and made 19 field goals. Colorado State had nine straight shots in the first half and led 40-19 at halftime as South Carolina went the final five minutes, 20 seconds without scoring. The Gamecocks had seven field goals and 10 turnovers in the half. Meechie Johnson hit South Carolina’s fourth 3-pointer in the first four minutes of the second half to cap a 9-0 run to make it 48-34. But the Rams stayed hot, making 11 of their first 18 field goals to build a 66-38 lead.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tolu Smith scored 16 points, Cameron Matthews made all six of his shots and added 14 points, and Mississippi State beat South Dakota 79-42. South Dakota had 17 turnovers and 16 field goals against a Mississippi State defense ranked eighth nationally while allowing just 48.33 points per game. The Bulldogs also entered with opponents shooting 31%, ranked 11th. The Coyotes finished 16 of 54 for 30%. After South Dakota opened the scoring, Mississippi State scored their next 13 points and led in double figures the rest of the way. He was 38-15 at halftime after Mississippi State shot 49% from the floor with 15 points on turnovers and 26 points in the paint.
ATHENS, Georgia (AP) — Georgia has added another title to its growing collection, but it didn’t see much reason to celebrate. The Bulldogs, you see, are chasing a much higher goal. Perfection. #1 Georgia closed out another trip to the Southeastern Conference championship game as the winners of the Eastern Division. But everyone passed quickly. The Bulldogs have much bigger goals, including their first SEC title since 2017, a return to the College Football Playoff, and a second straight national title. And let’s not forget another milestone that would really make this team stand out: a perfect season.
UNDATED (AP) – Southeastern Conference fans once mocked new LSU head coach Brian Kelly for trying to talk about the South. Nobody is laughing now. Kelly turned the Tigers from cellar dwellers into SEC West champions in his first year on the job. Josh Heupel’s resurgence of Tennessee from the depths of the SEC to one of the highest scoring teams in the nation in his sophomore season was impressive. SEC programs can leap from basement to penthouse by making the right moves.
UNDATED (AP) – No. 1 Georgia is looking to complete its second straight 8-0 Southeastern Conference regular season. The Bulldogs visit Kentucky in a game highlighting championship action this weekend. It’s not as big as it once hyped, when the Wildcats were ranked No. 7 nationally. Now they are losing to Vanderbilt. Georgia has already clinched a berth in the SEC championship game against No. 6 LSU. The game features standout quarterbacks Stetson Bennett and Will Levis.
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