SEC tourney, Day 1: MSU, Texas A&M advance
Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Mississippi State 70, South Carolina 59
What it means: The Bulldogs advance to the second round where they will face fifth-seeded Tennessee in Thursday's 3:30 p.m. game. It also means Mississippi State gets into double digits in the win total. The Bulldogs are now 10-21 after controlling the game most of the way. South Carolina cut the lead to four late in the game but could get no closer.
Player of the game: Fred Thomas, a 6-foot-5 freshman, scored 21 points for Mississippi State. He also had five steals and three assists. When the Gamecocks cut the lead to four, Thomas made a big 3-pointer and then two free throws to expand the lead. He finished 4 of 8 from the 3-point line.
Inside the box score: South Carolina stayed in the game despite committing 17 turnovers and missing 25 3-pointers.
Texas A&M 71, Auburn 62
What it means: Texas A&M advances to the second round where it will play sixth-seeded Missouri in the late game in a battle of SEC newcomers. Auburn trailed by as many as 13 before rallying to tie the score at 47 with 11:16 to play. But A&M pulled away down the stretch as the Tigers struggled to score in the last 10 minutes of the game. Auburn finishes its season with a 9-23 record and 10 straight losses to close out the season.
Player of the game: Elston Turner scored 22 points for A&M, his 10th game this season with 20 or more points. He struggled from the field but was perfect from the free-throw line in eight ties.
Inside the box score: The two teams combined for 40 fouls in the game with Texas A&M making 21 of 26 tries. The Aggies made 13 of their last 14 free-throw attempts to secure the win.