Around the SEC: Week 14 (Basketball)

Story posted February 26, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew McLaughlin

In one of the strongest years for SEC basketball, this past week did not disappoint so. Here’s the biggest news and results from this past week’s action from the SEC.

Starting things off, No. 6 Alabama blew a double-digit lead to unranked Vanderbilt but got out of Coleman Coliseum with a four-point win.

The Crimson Tide struggled from 3-point range, shooting less than 30%, which stalled the offense in critical moments of this game, but Villanova transfer Jahvon Quinerly hit a clutch three to seal the game for the Crimson Tide.

Two teams were upset within the SEC. First, No. 19 Tennessee lost by double digits to the unranked Kentucky Wildcats. Davion Mintz and Isaiah Jackson combined for 31 points while the Wildcats shot 50% from downtown and 85% from the charity stripe.

Second, the Ole Miss Rebels upset the No. 24 Missouri Tigers in Mizzou Arena 60-53. Mississippi was dominant in virtually every facet of the game with four starters hitting 10 points or more, headlined by senior Devontae Shuler’s 14 points, three boards, and one steal.

Although both teams struggled from downtown, the Rebels took advantage of their opportunities at the free-throw line, hitting almost 79% of their free-throws compared to a measly 55% for the Tigers.

One team on the rise within the conference is the Florida Gators. Over the past week, the Gators have won two straight games and currently sit at fourth in the SEC with a 12-6 record. In their last game, the Gators dominated the Auburn Tigers for a 17-point rout.

A big bright spot for Florida in this game was Scottie Lewis. The sophomore guard from New Jersey came off the bench and delivered on both ends of the floor. Lewis finished with 16 points and five assists to propel the Gators to a win.

As for the only other ranked SEC team, No. 20 Arkansas, the Razorbacks’ last game against the Texas A&M Aggies was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. But Arkansas picked up a massive win against the aforementioned Crimson Tide.

In the dominant 81-66 win, Moses Moody led the way for the Razorbacks with 24 points, four dimes and three blocks. One glaring stat was Alabama racking up 32 fouls, compared to only 18 called on Arkansas. The Razorbacks played stymie defense without fouling and shut down the prolific Crimson Tide offense, which made the difference.

With the SEC’s football teams typically picking up the headlines, the conference’s basketball programs are just as strong and are already creating chaos in the national rankings as March Madness approaches.

 

Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mem6936@psu.edu.