Saturday's college hoops: Florida rallies past No. 2 Auburn, 63-62
Gainesville, Fla. — Tyree Appleby scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half, Colin Castleton added 19 and Florida rallied to beat No. 2 Auburn 63-62 Saturday to extend its home dominance in the series.
The Tigers (24-3, 12-2 Southeastern Conference) lost their second straight on the road and dropped their first game in regulation. They previously lost to UConn and Arkansas in overtime.
Appleby had everything to do with this one, which was Florida’s 14th straight win over Auburn in Gainesville. The senior made 6 of 9 shots in the second half, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, and was perfect from the free-throw line.
Still, the Tigers had a chance in the final seconds. Wendell Green Jr. got the ball with 7.1 seconds to play and was dribbling at the top of the key when he tried to pass to Walker Kessler down low. The Gators (17-10, 7-7) knocked it away, and the clock ran out.
►No. 4 Kentucky 90, No. 25 Alabama 81
Kellan Grady made seven 3s for a season-high 25 points and Oscar Tshiebwe added 21 points with 14 rebounds for the Wildcats, who had to rally twice.
Short-handed because of injuries to starting guards TyTy Washington Jr. and Sahvir Wheeler, Kentucky (22-5, 11-3 Southeastern Conference) trailed 46-34 with 3½ minutes remaining before halftime before closing with 13 straight points for their first lead. Grady’s 3-pointer capped the run that draw a thunderous roar in Rupp Arena.
The Crimson Tide (17-10, 7-7 SEC) erased a 54-48 deficit early in the second with eight points in a row to go up by two before Kentucky responded with a 20-2 surge over 5:47 to seize control at 74-58.
►No. 7 Baylor 72, TCU 62
Jeremy Sochan matched his season high with 17 points as five players scored in double figures for Baylor, which led throughout despite missing two hurting guards.
Baylor (22-5, 10-4 Big 12) played with only six players, except for a two-minute stretch by a seldom-used sophomore in the first half, while bouncing back from a 10-point loss at No. 11 Texas Tech three nights earlier.
Matthew Mayer added 16 points for the Bears, who led by as many as 21 points with five minutes left before a late spurt by TCU.
Kendall Brown had 13 points and James Akinjo 11 for the Bears. Flo Thamba had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Emanuel Miller and Micah Peavy had 16 points for TCU (16-8, 5-7). Mike Miles added 13.
►No. 9 Duke 88, Florida State 70
Freshman Paolo Banchero scored 17 points as Duke avenged last month’s one-point overtime loss at Florida State and took sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Reserve Joey Baker provided a big lift for Duke (23-4, 13-3 ACC), which had Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski back after missing the second half of the Blue Devils’ previous game because he wasn’t feeling well. Baker scored 12 points on four first-half 3-pointers and the Blue Devils closed the half on a 12-2 burst to take a 52-41 lead against the injury-depleted Seminoles.
Freshman Matthew Cleveland scored 16 points to lead the Seminoles (14-12, 7-9), who shot just 11 of 27 (41%) after halftime as the deficit ballooned.
►No. 10 Villanova 74, Georgetown 66
Justin Moore scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half to lead Villanova to its fifth straight win.
Brandon Slater added 11 points and Caleb Daniels and Eric Dixon each had 10 for the Wildcats (21-6, 14-3 Big East).
Donald Carey scored 24 and Dante Harris added 16 for Georgetown (6-20, 0-15), which remained winless in the Big East while losing its 16th game in a row.
►No. 11 Texas Tech 61, No. 20 Texas 55
Bryson Williams scored 17 points as Texas Tech held off a Texas late charge to earn a sweep of the regular-season series in the heated rivalry.
Clarence Nadolny added 14 points for the Red Raiders, who led by 10 with just over 3 minutes to play before the Longhorns got within 56-55 with a 9-0 run.
But Andrew Jones’ long 3-pointer with 1:10 to play was the last Texas field goal and Texas Tech put the game away from the free throw line.
Texas Tech (21-6, 10-4 Big 12) has won nine of the last 11 against the Longhorns in a rivalry that has grown only more intense since Chris Beard, the coach who led the Red Raiders to the national championship game in 2019, left to take over the Longhorns program this season.
►No. 12 Illinois 79, No. 19 Michigan State 74
Kofi Cockburn scored 27 points and Jacob Grandison had a season-high 24 as Illinois moved into a first-place tie with No. 5 Purdue in the Big Ten.
Cockburn scored in double figures for the 36th straight game for the Fighting Illini (19-7, 12-4 Big Ten), the third-longest such streak in the nation.
Tyson Walker scored a season-high 26 points and A.J. Hoggard had 15 for the Spartans (18-9, 9-6), who never led and trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half. Michigan State has lost four of five.
►No. 23 Arkansas 58, No. 16 Tennessee 48
Arkansas held Tennessee to two field goals in the final eight minutes and used a late 11-1 run to win for the 11th time in 12 games.
Tennessee pulled within six points with 58 seconds left, but Arkansas hit seven straight throws to seal it.
Jaylin Williams scored 13 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for the Razorbacks, his fourth straight double-double and ninth in 13 games. JD Notae added 13 points for Arkansas (21-6, 10-4 Southeastern Conference).
Zakai Zeigler had 12 points to lead Tennessee (19-7, 10-4), which suffered just its second loss since Jan. 15. Leading scorer Santiago Vescovi picked up his fourth foul midway through the second half and finished with seven points on 2-of-13 shooting. He was averaging 13.8.
►Iowa 75, No. 18 Oho State 62
Keegan Murray scored 24 points as Iowa used a big run early in the second half to pull away.
Murray made 10 of 17 shots to lead the Hawkeyes (18-8, 8-7 Big Ten), who trailed by four points with 17:35 left before going on a 17-4 run.
The Buckeyes (16-7, 9-5) pulled within six points with 2:40 remaining, but the Hawkeyes scored the final seven points.
Kris Murray added 11 points and Jordan Bohannon recorded 10 for Iowa.
Malaki Branham led Ohio State with 22 points and E.J. Liddell added 15.
►No. 21 Murray State 62, UT-Martin 60
KJ Williams made a three-point play with 10 seconds left as Murray State rallied for its 16th straight win.
Down 59-54 with under three minutes left, the Racers rallied. Williams capped the comeback with a layup and foul shot. Murray State made only two baskets in the final nine minutes.
Tevin Brown hit five 3s and scored 18 points for Murray State (26-2, 15-0 Ohio Valley Conference). The Racers have won 10 in a row against UT Martin.
KJ Simon scored 24 points for the Skyhawks (8-20, 4-12), who have lost five straight.
►No. 22 Wyoming 75, Air Force 67
Hunter Maldonado scored 29 points and Graham Ike had 27 to lead Wyoming.
Maldonado also had eight assists and seven rebounds, and Ike had 12 rebounds for the Cowboys (22-4, 11-2 Mountain West Conference).
Freshman Lucas Moerman scored a career-high 15 points for Air Force (10-15, 3-11).
A.J. Walker had 15 points and Jake Heidbreder 11 for the Falcons, who made nine 3s but were unable to overcome Maldonado and Ike’s dominant presence.
►No. 24 UConn72, Xavier 61
R.J. Cole and Tyler Polley each scored 16 points for UConn, which has won four of five.
Adama Sanogo had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Huskies (19-7, 10-5 Big East).
Xavier (17-9, 7-8), which has lost four of five, was led by Adam Kunkel’s 15 points. Zach Freemantle added 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Former UConn star James Bouknight, a rookie with the Charlotte Hornets, was tossed from his courtside seat by a game official in the second half. He was sitting in the front row opposite the Xavier bench and moved to the UConn student section.