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Big Blue Links: More on Kentucky’s loss and Isaac Humphries’ controversial technical

Kentucky’s Isaac Humphries, center, reacted after having a technical foul called on him during overtime Saturday against Texas A&M. The Aggies won 79-77.
Kentucky’s Isaac Humphries, center, reacted after having a technical foul called on him during overtime Saturday against Texas A&M. The Aggies won 79-77. The Associated Press

Big Blue Links for Sunday:

Texas A&M beats Kentucky in overtime, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “Inevitably, Kentucky’s lack of a post presence had to show itself. Saturday was that day. Texas A&M dominated the boards and the low-post scoring. Kentucky countered with its Three Tenors, who again provided the kind of play that proves how guards can be the biggest players on the court, in a figurative sense.”

Derek Willis’ injury will further test Cats, reports Tipton. “Kentucky went into its game at Texas A&M with a next-man-up mantra. Unfortunately for the Cats, the game presented the dilemma of next-man-down. Derek Willis had to be helped off the court with 8:30 left in the second half. He sprained an ankle.”

Isaac Humphries deserved a better fate, writes Mark Story of the Herald-Leader. “Isaac Humphries was going to be Kentucky’s hero. Pressed into major minutes in a rugged, pressure-packed duel with Texas A&M, the 7-foot, 260-pound freshman from Down Under performed like a champ.”

Texas A&M gets a tough win over Kentucky, reports Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated. “Isaac Humphries apologized on the floor, almost as soon as the ball left his hand. ‘I’m sorry,’ the Kentucky freshman said to the teammates circling around him. And he kept apologizing, long after a celebration of a game about to be won turned into something else entirely. He apologized all the way into the locker room, where he and his exasperated team sat and contemplated one of the strangest technical fouls they’ll ever see and one of the most wrenching endings they could imagine.”

Kentucky stunned by bizarre technical, reports Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal. The technical foul on Isaac Humphries came with 9.4 seconds left in overtime. Danuel House made both free throws for Texas A&M to give A&M a 77-76 lead. Skal Labissiere made one of two free throws for UK to tie the game at 77.

Cats fall in dramatic finish, reports Alex Forkner of the Cats Pause. “Tyler Ulis led Kentucky with 22 points and 11 assists. Jamal Murray added 21 points, and Humphries turned in his best game as a Wildcat with 6 points and 12 rebounds before his technical. Trailing 68-66 with 50.7 seconds to play, Ulis found Marcus Lee for a masterfully crafted lob dunk out of a timeout to tie the game. Lee then blocked House on a drive to the basket and was fouled during the loose ball. Lee missed the front end of the bonus, but House's potential game-winning jumper came up short.”

Tyler Davis’ put-back wins it for Aggies, reports Richard Croome of the Bryan/College Station Eagle. “In the final four seconds of the overtime the Aggies danced with the one that brought them. Texas A&M had stayed in the game in the opening half with 15 offensive rebounds. The Aggies’ 20th offensive board won them the game, with Tyler Davis just beating the overtime buzzer with a tip-in to upend No.14 Kentucky 79-77.”

Three takeaways from Texas A&M’s win, from USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach. “1. Texas A&M has righted its ship. The Aggies had ascended to the top five in both polls before suffering a humbling five-game SEC losing streak. Two wins this week — against Ole Miss on Tuesday and now vs. No. 14 Kentucky in overtime — seem to have stopped the bleeding.”

Maci Morris much more than a shooter, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. “In her five seasons as a starter at Bell County, Morris didn’t take a ton of three-pointers. She was known more as a slasher who could penetrate and get a shot from close range, or a passer who could create a better shot for a teammate. So Lewis was a little perplexed when Morris spent much of her time roaming the three-point line the first few games of the season at Kentucky.”

Louisville beats Duke 71-64, reports my column. “Playing with a finger he dislocated in warm-ups, senior guard Damion Lee scored 24 points, Chinanu Onuaku scored 10 points to go with 11 rebounds and Louisville’s defense forced Duke star Brandon Ingram into 10 turnovers as the Cardinals improved to 10-4 in the ACC while dropping Duke to 9-5.”

Tennessee knocks off LSU 81-65, reports Mike Strange of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. “he Vols have their limitations — little size, no true point guard, to name a couple. Those limitations invariably show up on the road. Tennessee is 1-9 in true road games and 1-12 away from home. But put the Vols in Thompson-Boling Arena and they might beat the Golden State Warriors. Well, they can certainly beat the teams at the top of the SEC standings.”

Vandy gets emotional win over Georgia, reports Adam Sparks of the Tennessean. “Damian Jones yelled, pumped his fist and slapped the Memorial Gym floor throughout Vanderbilt’s 80-67 win over Georgia on Saturday. It was uncommon emotion for the All-SEC big man. But Jones’ 15 points and career-high 16 rebounds mattered more to the Commodores than his demeanor.”

South Carolina tops Florida in overtime, reports David Cloninger of The State. “USC clinched just the sixth .500 or better league season in its 25th year in the conference, and is one win away from giving the NCAA selection committee not a lot to think about. One more win means USC is no worse than 23-9 after the SEC tournament. That would seem to be a shoo-in for the NCAAs no matter what happens after the 23rd win.”

Alabama falls to Mississippi State, reports Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News. “A Crimson Tide team on a roll got rolled at Coleman Coliseum by Mississippi State, 67-61, in a game that the Bulldogs controlled most of the way. UA did make a second half run, pulling within a point, 58-57, on Jimmie Taylor's layup with 4:27 to play. But the late magic that Alabama has conjured time and again this season didn't materialize as MSU outscored Alabama 9-4 down the stretch to seal the win.”

Kentucky basketball 2015-16

Stefan Moody leads Ole Miss past Auburn, reports Sam Butler of the AP. “Stefan Moody, all 5-foot-10 of him, rose up and flushed home a thunderous dunk, silencing Auburn Arena, barely a half-minute into the second half. He lived up to his billing as the highest per-game scorer in the SEC, pouring in 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting to propel Ole Miss past Auburn on Saturday 69-59.”

Arkansas rolls over Missouri, reports Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star. Missouri has lost 24 straight road games. Foul trouble hurt Missouri center Ryan Rosburg.

SEC men’s basketball standings

Team

W

L

W

L

Kentucky

10

4

20

7

South Carolina

9

5

22

5

Texas A&M

9

5

20

7

LSU

9

5

16

11

Florida

8

6

17

10

Vanderbilt

8

6

16

11

Ole Miss

7

7

17

10

Alabama

7

7

16

10

Georgia

7

7

16

11

Tennessee

6

8

13

14

Arkansas

6

8

13

14

Miss State

5

9

12

14

Auburn

4

10

10

16

Missouri

3

11

10

17

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