Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky will take aim at SEC’s first-place team Saturday. See how the Gators got there.

Anfernee McLemore (24) and others on the Auburn bench reacts during the last minutes of the Tigers’ 76-71 loss to Alabama in an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Anfernee McLemore (24) and others on the Auburn bench reacts during the last minutes of the Tigers’ 76-71 loss to Alabama in an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Associated Press

And then there were none.

The last of the SEC clean sheets fell from the unbeaten ranks in conference play as Auburn dropped a 76-71 decision on Wednesday night at Alabama. The loss snapped a 14-game winning streak for Auburn, now 16-2 overall and 4-1 in the SEC.

Surprisingly, Bama pulled off the win without top freshman Collin Sexton, who missed the game with an abdominal injury. Freshman running mate John Petty stepped up in Sexton’s absence. Petty hit eight of 13 three-point attempts on the way to a 27-point night.

Auburn’s loss opened the gate for Florida to take over first place. The Gators took advantage with an 88-73 win over Arkansas to improve to 5-1. They visit Kentucky on Saturday night in an ESPN “College GameDay” game. Tipoff is set for 8:15.

A native of North Little Rock, Ark., Florida’s KeVaughn Allen scored 28 points against his home-state school. Allen was 6-of-7 from three-point range. The Gators were 13-of-25 from three for the game.

Alabama’s win moved the Crimson Tide (12-6, 4-2) into a tie for third place with Kentucky (14-4, 4-2), which blew a 14-point second half lead in losing 76-68 at South Carolina on Tuesday.

[Missouri is breaking through under Cuonzo Martin]

Missouri (13-5, 3-2) held off visiting Tennessee 59-55 on Wednesday to take over fifth place in the standings. Kevin Puryear came off the bench to register a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Tigers.

Tennessee (12-5, 3-3) saw its three-game winning streak snapped as Rick Barnes’ club shot just 38.9 percent in Columbia. The Vols were just 5-of-21 from three-point range.

[SEC basketball game-by-game results and schedule in a Google Doc]

South Carolina (12-6, 3-3) is part of the four-way tie for sixth with the Vols, Georgia and Ole Miss. Chris Silva scored 27 points in the win over Kentucky on Tuesday.

Georgia (12-5, 3-3) got 21 points and 12 rebounds from Yante Maten in its 61-60 loss at LSU on Tuesday. Maten was just 7-of-20 from the floor, but made all seven of his free throws. The remaining Bulldogs were just 2-of-9 from the foul line.

Ole Miss (10-8, 3-3) came up short, 71-69, at Texas A&M on Tuesday. Bruce Stevens led the Rebels with 20 points and nine rebounds. Stevens was coming off a 22-point game in Ole Miss’s win over Florida last Saturday.

Aric Holman scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Mississippi State (14-4, 2-3) in its 80-62 romp over visiting Vanderbilt on Tuesday. Quinndary Weatherspoon led the Bulldogs with 18 points.

LSU (11-6, 2-3) dropped below .500 in the league with the one-point loss to Georgia. Freshman point guard Tremont Waters was off his game, scoring just six points, though Waters did have five assists.

[Kentucky basketball individual game-by-game stats in a Google Doc]

Arkansas (12-6, 2-4) is now 12th out of 14 teams thanks to the loss in Gainesville. Jaylen Barford scored eight points for the Razorbacks, who also got a double-double from freshman Daniel Gafford, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Texas A&M (12-6, 1-5) was no doubt thrilled to pick up its first conference victory after starting the league season with five straight losses. Tyler Davis scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the win over Ole Miss.

Reinforcements are on the way for Vanderbilt (6-12, 1-5), but it continues to be a rough season for Bryce Drew’s Commodores. Vandy was just 4 of 20 from three-point range in the 18-point loss at Mississippi State on Tuesday. The Commodores have lost four straight.

Saturday's games

  • 1:00 - LSU at Vanderbilt (SEC)
  • 3:30 - Ole Miss at Arkansas (SEC)
  • 4:00 - Missouri at Texas A&M )ESPN2)
  • 6:00 - Georgia at Auburn (SEC)
  • 6:00 - Tennessee at South Carolina (ESPN2)
  • 8:15 - Florida at Kentucky (ESPN)
  • 8:30 - Miss State at Alabama (SEC)

SEC men’s basketball standings

Team

SEC

Overall

Florida

5-1

13-5

Auburn

4-1

16-2

Kentucky

4-2

14-4

Alabama

4-2

12-6

Missouri

3-2

13-5

Georgia

3-3

12-5

Tennessee

3-3

12-5

South Carolina

3-3

12-6

Ole Miss

3-3

10-8

Miss. State

2-3

14-4

LSU

2-3

11-6

Arkansas

2-4

12-6

Texas A&M

1-5

12-6

Vanderbilt

1-5

6-12

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