Vescovi, No. 7 Tennessee top Mississippi

Vescovi, No. 7 Tennessee top Mississippi


OXFORD, Miss. — Santiago Vescovi scored 22 points and combined with Zakai Zeigler to make six free throws in the final 1:09, helping No. 7 Tennessee top Mississippi 63-59 on Wednesday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

Vescov converted two free throws to make it 63-57 with 19 seconds left. Zeigler added 13 points as Tennessee (11-2) rallied from an early 10-point hole and a 34-28 halftime deficit.

Ole Miss (8-5) was led by Jaemyn Brakefield with 18 points, including four 3-pointers in the second half. Amaree Abram added 10 points while Matthew Murrell, averaging 15.6 points per game, was held to five points on 1-for-11 shooting.

Jonas Aidoo had a game-high 13 rebounds as the Vols outrebounded Ole Miss 38-28.

Ole Miss finished 19 of 51 (37%) from the field. He converted just seven field goals in the second half, including four from Brakefield.

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NO. 2 UCONN 74, VILLANOVA 66: Jordan Hawkins scored 22 points to lead UConn over Villanova in Big East action in Hartford. Freshman Alex Karaban added 15 points and Andre Jackson Jr. 10 for the Huskies. Caleb Daniels led Villanova with 23 points, Eric Dixon added 18 and Brandon Slater added 10. The win allowed the Huskies to tie the 1953-54 team’s start for third best. Only two have gone better than the 1998-99 team’s 19-0 mark at the top of the list. It was also the first season UConn won a national championship.

NO. 10 GONZAGA 120, E. OREGON 42: Drew Timme had 18 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes, Efton Reid III added a season-high 16 points and host Gonzaga rolled past Eastern Oregon to set a program record for largest margin of victory. It was the first time Gonzaga had beaten an opponent by more than 70 points. All five Gonzaga starters finished in double figures.

NO. 12 BAYLOR 85, NICHOLLS ST. 56: Keyonte George scored 21 points and host Baylor pulled away from Nicholls State in the second half. George and Adam Flagler both made four 3-pointers for the Bears, who had never lost in their final game before opening Big 12 play. Flagler had 20 points and Langston Love finished with 17 on 5-of-6 shooting. -6. Latrell Jones scored 18 points for Nicholls. Caleb Huffman had 11 points and eight rebounds.

NO. 13 VIRGINIA 66, ALBANY 46: Armaan Franklin scored 20 points, Jayden Gardner had 16 and host Virginia ended a two-game skid past Albany. After losses at home to Houston and on the road in Miami that pushed him down from the No. 2 in the AP Top 25, Virginia went on a 30-4 run that included the halves to go into its final nonconference game. The Cavaliers played without starting point guard Reece Beekman, who is battling a right hamstring injury.

NO. 18 TCU 103, C. ARKANSAS 57: Emanuel Miller had 20 points with 10 rebounds and TCU extended its winning streak to nine games with a home win over Central Arkansas. Mike Miles Jr. added 21 points as the 11-1 Horned Frogs reached triple figures in scoring for the first time since a 100-63 win over Tennessee Tech on Nov. 13, 2017. Damion Baugh had 13 points while Shahada Wells and JaKobe Koles each had 12. TCU edged the Bears 40-0 on fast break points.

MISSOURI 89, NO. 19 KENTUCKY 75: Kobe Brown scored 30 points in a dominant performance and Missouri blew out visiting Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. DeAndre Gholston and Sean East II also had 12 points apiece for the Tigers, who roared past then-No. 16 Illinois 93-71 last time out. At 12-1, they are off to their best start since the 2013-14 season.

NO. 20 AUBURN 61, FLORIDA 58: Chris Moore got a steal in the final seconds and Wendell Green Jr. made a layup at the buzzer to cap host Auburn’s win over Florida in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Moore stole the ball from Gators star Colin Castleton, who was trying to lay off a potential game-winner before Jaylin Williams tripped him in the paint. He passed to Green to set up the final uncontested basket for the Tigers.

NO. 22 XAVIER 84, ST. JOHN 79: Jack Nunge had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Xavier won its seventh straight game, stopping St. John’s in New York. The Musketeers built an 18-point cushion midway through the second half before fending off a late comeback attempt, setting up a home showdown against No. 2 UConn on Saturday. Souley Boum had 17 points and six assists, and Zach Freemantle added 14 points and nine rebounds.

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