SEC tourney, Day 1: MSU, Texas A&M advance

Mississippi State guard Fred Thomas looks back for the ball against pressure from South Carolina guard Brian Richardson during the first half at the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

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.

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