SEC action tips off tonight with all teams in action. But before we get to the biggest matchups, here’s a roundup of what happened Sunday — the last time SEC teams competed during conference play.
Here are the results from games played on Sunday, Jan. 6, and how the wins and losses played out in the AP Poll and SEC standings:
The biggest upset of the Sunday slate was LSU’s defeat of then-No. 21 Texas A&M, which had been asserting itself as a force to be reckoned with in both the SEC and the AP Poll. But the 63-52 victory by the still-unranked Lady Tigers means the Aggies have a long way to go towards proving their legitimacy. Texas A&M is now 0-2 in conference competition, 11th in the SEC standings and out of the AP top 25.
Missouri eked out a two-point, 66-64 win over then-No. 10 Tennessee. In the AP Poll earlier in the season, Mizzou remains out of the top 25 despite thwarting a top-10 team and climbing to the No. 2 spot in the SEC. The Lady Volunteers, however, slid to No. 13 in the AP and No. 7 in the conference.
No. 7 Mississippi State secured an 86-71 win over No. 16 Kentucky. The Bulldogs have led the conference in points per game (currently 92.2), field goal percentage (currently 51 percent) and rebounds per game (currently 42.7) for much of the season. And their scoring and defensive dominance got the best of the Wildcats, who are led by promising freshman Rhyne Howard. But Mississippi State’s Teaira McCowan and Anriel Howard dominated the boards with 12 and 10 rebounds, respectively. Howard scored a game-high 21 points for a double-double and McCowan achieved a double-double of her own by scoring 13. Despite the win, the Bulldogs stayed put at No. 7 while the Wildcats, in defeat, got to keep their No. 16 ranking.
Auburn, 1-1 in conference play, got a 64-56 win over 0-2 Florida, putting the Gators at 4-11 overall for the season (and last in the SEC). Auburn is 13-2 overall with lots to build on. So, it’s smooth sailing for the Tigers, but a nail in the Gators’ coffin to be sure.
Georgia beat Vanderbilt, 71-64, which is par for the course of Vandy’s season: 5-10 overall, 0-2 in SEC competition and next to last in the SEC. For Georgia, however, things are looking up. The Lady Bulldogs are 2-0 in conference play, for a No. 2 ranking in the conference standings behind an 11-4 record overall. Smooth sailing, with exciting potential for improvement.
Let’s call Arkansas’s 85-55 win over Ole Miss a good, old-fashioned beatdown. The Rebels have shown potential this season through the shine of individual performances. But the Razorbacks put the kibosh on everything, preventing Ole Miss players from shining and, in a way, sealing their fate for the season. The Rebels have not been able to ride individual dominance to wins, leaving them 12th in the SEC. The Razorbacks, however, are now eighth in the conference.
Conference play continues tonight with the following key SEC battles of the week:
No. 13 Tennessee Lady Volunteers (12-2, 1-1) vs. No. 16 Kentucky Wildcats (14-2, 1-1)
When: Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Thompson Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN
How to tune in: SEC Network
Need to know: This battle of AP top-25 teams should be contentious, as both the Lady Vols and Wildcats are coming off of losses against some of the stiffest competition in the conference. Tennessee is allowing about eight more points per game than Kentucky this season, but the edge goes to the Lady Vols because the Wildcats are 0-2 on the road, and this Tennessee team that will be looking to take out Kentucky’s claws.
No. 21 South Carolina Gamecocks (10-4, 2-0) at LSU Lady Tigers (10-4, 1-1)
When: Sunday, Jan. 13, at 5 p.m. ET
Where: Maravich Center, Baton Rouge, LA
How to tune in: SEC Network
Need to know: The Gamecocks enter this one on an unlikely six-game winning streak. The string of wins seems unlikely because many of their wins are almost-losses, and none of them are pretty. Still, South Carolina is managing to improve — climbing from its lowest AP ranking of 25 to 21 in just a few weeks, and moving from the middle of the pack in the SEC to fourth. But if the Lady Tigers get their jollies by thwarting No. 21 teams, the Gamecocks are in trouble. LSU is high on an 11-point drubbing of the Aggies on Sunday and won’t let South Carolina have an easy time.
Complete game-day schedules can be found HERE.
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