SEC tourney, Day 2: LSU, Tennessee, Vandy and Mizzou move to quarters

LSU guard Andre Stringer steals the ball from Georgia guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope during the first half of an Southeastern Conference tournament game on Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 4:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 4:31 p.m.
LSU 68, Georgia 63 What it means: LSU (19-11) will play No. 1 seed Florida on Friday at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinals. Georgia's season is over at 15-17. The Tigers led by 20 at the half but had to hold off a furious Georgia comeback. Leading by two, LSU got a huge 3-pointer from Andre Stringer with 35 seconds left in the game. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed a 3 a few seconds later with the Bulldogs down three. Shavon Coleman led LSU with 25 points after averaging 10 a game this season. Player of the game: Caldwell-Pope carried the Bulldogs in the second half after Georgia played a lethargic first half. He finished the game with 32 points and 13 rebounds, but took a pair of late 3-pointers that were probably outside his range. Inside the box score: LSU's Johnny O'Bryant may have set a record for missed shots in an SEC Tournament game with 22. He was 6-of-17 from the free-throw line and 3-of-14 from the field.

Tennessee 69, Mississippi State 53 What it means: The Vols advance to the quarterfinals where they will face fourth-seeded Alabama. The win may have clinched an NCAA Tournament berth for the Vols, who could not have afforded a bad loss. Mississippi State ends its season at 10-21. Tennessee led the whole game, but Mississippi State clawed back into it to trail by only nine with five minutes to play. But Jordan McRae banked in a shot and Jarnell Stokes put back his missed free throw, and just like that it was a 13-point game. Player of the game: McRae had 17 points and three blocked shots for the Vols. He punctuated the win with a steal and a 360-degree twirling dunk late in the game that brought the Tennessee fans — and there were plenty of them — to their feet late in the game. Inside the box score: The Tennessee bench outscored the Mississippi State bench 21-1 in the game. Reserve Quinton Chievous led the way for the Vols with 10 points off the bench. Vanderbilt 75, Arkansas 72 What it means: The Razorbacks (19-13) saw their very slim NCAA hopes die with another loss away from Bud Walton Arena. The Commodores (15-16) play Kentucky in the 7:30 game Friday. Vandy held a double-digit lead for much of the game before Arkansas cut it to two late. The Razorbacks got a steal, but a fast-break pass to Marshawn Powell was too far under the basket and he hit the bottom of the backboard with his shot. Vanderbilt finished the game off with free throws. Player of the game: Rod Odom has been the senior leader all season for Vanderbilt and came up big with the season on the line. He scored 20 points, had eight rebounds and blocked four shots. Odom made 5 of 9 3-point attempts. Inside the box score: Arkansas ranks last in the SEC in 3-point shooting in conference games. So, of course, they took 16 3-pointers. They made four. Missouri 62, Texas A&M 50 What it means: Missouri (23-9) moves on to face Ole Miss on Friday in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. Texas A&M finishes its first SEC basketball season 18-15. Player of the game: Missouri senior center Alex Oriakhi posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Tigers. Oriakhi went 6 of 7 from the floor, scoring many of his baskets inside on putbacks and dunks. Inside the box score: Texas A&M had more 3-point baskets (4) than two-point baskets (2) in an overall horrendous shooting first half. The Aggies shot just 23.1 percent from the field, going 40 percent (4 of 10) from 3-point range while making just 2 of its 16 2-point attempts. Staff writer Kevin Brockway contributed to this report.

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