Gators and Rebels square off in SEC Tournament semifinals
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – The sixth-ranked Florida Gators and the Ole Miss
Rebels were both dominant in their SEC Tournament quarterfinal games yesterday,
and the teams will meet this afternoon in the semifinal round. Next up for the
winner of this game is a date with either Arkansas or Mississippi State in the
Ole Miss crushed LSU by an 80-60 final in Friday’s quarterfinal round to earn a
spot in today’s clash. The Rebels won their only SEC Tournament title way back
in 1981, and they have lost nearly twice as many games as they have won all-
time at this event.
Florida, which struggled at the end of the regular season, looked strong in
yesterday’s 74-57 victory over Georgia. The Gators have won this tournament the
last two seasons, as they knocked off South Carolina in last year’s title game.
Florida recorded a 79-70 decision over Ole Miss during the regular season, and
the Gators hold a 55-41 lead in the all-time series.
Ole Miss led LSU by 20 points in the first half and cruised to victory
yesterday. The Rebels shot 51.9 percent from the floor and had four double-
digit scorers. Bam Doyne was outstanding, as he poured in 26 points on 9-of-17
shooting from the floor to go along with eight rebounds. Kenny Williams tallied
12 points, Eniel Polynice had 11 points and Todd Abernethy posted 10 points.
Strong defense was an obvious key to the win, as Ole Miss limited LSU to 32.8
percent shooting from the floor. Clarence Sanders, who was limited to nine
points, leads the Rebels with 16.3 ppg. Doyne adds 15.6 ppg, and Dwayne Curtis
is contributing 12.5 ppg and 8.3 rpg. As for Abernethy, the club’s point guard,
he is netting 10.9 ppg to go along with 171 assists. He has turned the ball
over only 52 times.
The Gators led by as many as 25 points in the first half of yesterday’s game
against Georgia and cruised to victory. Taurean Green tallied 19 points and
five assists, and Al Horford contributed 15 points and nine rebounds. Corey
Brewer checked in with 15 points as well for the Gators, who shot 53.5 percent
from the floor while limiting Georgia to 33.8 percent, including 11.1 percent
from three-point range. Florida also benefited from a 21-7 advantage in points
from the foul line. The biggest question for Florida is this: what happened to
Joakim Noah? The freakishly athletic forward dominated the Final Four a year
ago and could have been the top player chosen in the NBA Draft if he decided to
leave school early. Now, he looks completely passive on most nights, and he
managed only seven points and seven rebounds against Georgia while turning the
ball over five times.