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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2006
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Georgia wins battle of canines, defeats Gonzaga
Kentucky picks up victory in a Bluegrass battle

From Staff Reports

Levi Stukes scored 25 points and Sundiata Gaines added a season-high 21 to lift Georgia to a 96-83 victory over No. 16 Gonzaga on Saturday in Duluth, Ga.

Georgia, picked by media to finish last in the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division, won its sixth straight game.

Georgia (7-1) forced Gonzaga (9-3) into a season-high 21 turnovers, four more than its previous high in a win over North Carolina on Nov. 22. Georgia, which turned the ball over only 11 times, outscored Gonzaga 30-11 in points off turnovers.

Mike Mercer scored 19 points and Takais Brown added 11 for Georgia in the matchup of Bulldogs.

Derek Raivio led Gonzaga with 19 points but saw his streak of 20-point games end at eight as he went 3-of-7 from 3-point range. Jeremy Pargo added 17 points, 12 in the first half, and Josh Heytvelt had 15.

Georgia averaged 91 points per game through its first seven games, an opening stretch that did not include a Top 25 opponent.

Kentucky 61, Louisville 49: In Louisville, Ky., freshman Jodie Meeks scored a career-high 18 points and Ramel Bradley added 15 points and six rebounds to lead Kentucky (7-3) over instate rival Louisville.

The win was Kentucky’s third straight over the Cardinals (5-4), who shot just 27 percent from the field and were held to their lowest point total in nearly three years.

David Padgett led Louisville with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but had little help. The Cardinals were just 3-of-24 shots from 3-point range and went scoreless for nearly six minutes late in the second half.

Texas Tech 71, Arkansas 56: At North Little Rock, Ark., Bob Knight moved within one win of Dean Smith’s Division I coaching record when Texas Tech went on an early 18-0 run en route to a 71-56 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.

Knight has 878 victories and he can tie Smith’s mark when Texas Tech hosts Bucknell next Saturday. The Red Raiders (9-3) play their next four games at home.

Jarrius Jackson scored 16 of his 17 points in the first half as Texas Tech took a 35-22 lead. The Razorbacks cut their deficit to eight several times in the second half, but the Red Raiders held on.

Jackson hobbled off with 17:33 remaining in the second half. He returned quickly, but he appeared to be favoring his right foot and departed again with 14:57 to play. He came back late in the game.

Tennessee 93, W. Kentucky 79: At Knoxville, Chris Lofton scored 32 points and JaJuan Smith added 21 to help Tennessee beat Western Kentucky 93-79 Saturday.

The Volunteers (8-2) extended their winning streak to four after losing to North Carolina in the NIT Season Tip-Off over Thanksgiving. Tennessee had 10 days off since their previous game, a win over Memphis when Lofton scored a career-high 34 points.

Reserves Ramar Smith added 15 points and Ryan Childress grabbed 10 rebounds for the Vols.

The Hilltoppers (8-3) came close to beating a second Southeastern Conference team this season, but they could not sustain a rally.. They previously beat Georgia.

Mississippi 82, South Alabama 72: At Mobile, Bam Doyne scored a career-high 28 points in Mississippi’s 82-72 victory over South Alabama on Saturday in the Coors Classic.

Dwayne Curtis and Clarence Sanders had 16 points apiece for the Rebels (9-2), who led by as many as 20 in the second half.

Jeremy Parnell added 10 points for Ole Miss.

Ernest Little led South Alabama with 17 points and Demetric Bennett had 16. Daon Merritt had six points and 10 assists.

The Jaguars (5-5) have lost three straight games, all to teams from the Southeastern Conference Western Division. South Alabama has lost 14 consecutive games against SEC opponents.

Vanderbilt 76, Nicholls St. 40: At Nashville, Vanderbilt held Nicholls State to 24.5 percent shooting and forced 23 turnovers, as the Commodores never trailed in routing the Colonels 76-40 at Memorial Gym on Saturday night.

Ross Neltner and Jermaine Beal led Vandy (6-3) with 15 points, and Shan Foster added 13.

The 40 points were the fewest the Commodores have allowed since defeating Georgia 65-37 on February 26, 2005.The Colonels (1-12) hit just four-of-25 from three-point range.

Nicholls State shot just 14.8 percent and committed 13 turnovers in the first half, as Vandy led 39-12 at the break.

The 12 points were the fewest the Commodores have given up during Kevin Stallings’ eight years as Vanderbilt coach.

Neltner led Vandy with nine rebounds. Beal’s point total was a career high.

Stefan Blaszczynski added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Nicholls State.

Mississippi St. 89, McNeese St. 63: At Starkville, Miss., Richard Delk scored a career-high 16 points on Saturday and led Mississippi State to an 89-63 win over McNeese State.

It was the fifth straight win for the Bulldogs (7-2) since upsetting Miami last Monday on the road.

Jamont Gordon added 15 points and four assists for the Bulldogs. Barry Stewart scored 14 points and Jarvis Varnado chipped in a career-high 13.

Jarvis Bradley and Aldryan Wardell led the Cowboys (4-6) with 12 points each.

The Bulldogs never trailed in the game and were ahead 43-25 at the half. It was the fourth game in row in which the Bulldogs never trailed.

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