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SEC: Tennessee storms back to beat instate rival
Published March 5, 2006
NASHVILLE - No.11 Tennessee rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to beat Vanderbilt 68-59 on Saturday.
The SEC's worst defensive team won with one of its best defensive performances of the season. The Vols, who entered allowing 73.5 points per game, held Vanderbilt to a season-low 33 percent shooting and forced 12 second-half turnovers.
"We didn't play good defense our last two games," guard C.J. Watson said of home losses to Kentucky (80-78) and Arkansas (73-69). "So we made it our main focus."
Tennessee trailed 37-21 early in the second half but used a fullcourt press to come back. A 10-0 run tied it at 44 with 8:55 to play.
Andre Patterson gave the Vols the lead for good at 56-55 on a steal and slam with 2:50 left. Then Dane Bradshaw and Chris Lofton made 3-pointers in the final two minutes, Lofton's making it 62-57 with 1:09 left as part of a game-closing 14-4 run.
"We wanted to become the dangerous team we know we are," said Vols coach Bruce Pearl, who won the SEC East in his first season. "We still have to be that team that nobody wants to play. We're smaller. We pressure. We shoot the 3-ball. The last couple of games, it hasn't been that way."
NO. 21 LSU 55, MISS. 52: The Tigers capped their second straight home unbeaten season. Down 39-33, the Rebels cut it to two three times on baskets by Londrick Nolen. After the third, Glen Davis made a free throw to extend the lead to 49-46 with 1:51 left.
Todd Abernethy then missed a jumper for Mississippi. On the rebound, Dwayne Curtis was fouled for the Rebels but missed both free throws. Nolen got the rebound on the second. Teammate Jermey Parnell missed a jumper, and the Rebels again got the rebound. But Nolen turned it over.
Two free throws by Darrel Mitchell with 41 seconds left made it 51-46 for LSU, which made 12 of 15 free throws during the final 5:30.
MISS. ST. 71, ALABAMA 58: Jamont Gordon scored 17 and Charles Rhodes 16 in the Bulldogs' fourth consecutive home win. Down 37-29 at halftime, Alabama tied it at 39 on Jermareo Davidson's basket 4:04 in. But Richard Delk made a 3-pointer 18 seconds later to start a 15-5 run. Piotr Stelmach's 3-pointer with 10:20 left, his second during the run, made it 54-44. The Tide didn't get closer than five from there.
S. CAROLINA 67, AUBURN 63: Tarence Kinsey scored 24 for the visiting Gamecocks. Down 65-59, the Tigers' Quantez Robertson made a free throw and got the rebound of his missed second shot. Frank Tolbert's 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left made it 65-63. South Carolina had to call timeout before its first attempt to inbound the ball. But Brandon Wallace got it to Tre' Kelley, who drew the foul and made two free throws.