Austin Reaves scored 23 points and made two free throws with 18.3 seconds left that proved to be the difference as No. 24 Oklahoma beat short-handed No. 5 Texas 80-79 on Tuesday night.
Reaves’ free throws gave the Sooners a three-point lead before Andrew Jones made two free throws seconds later to get Texas within one. The Longhorns nearly forced a turnover on the inbounds pass before fouling Oklahoma’s Jalen Hill with 2.3 seconds to play.
Hill missed his first free throw, then intentionally missed his second but failed to hit the rim, giving Texas the ball. The Sooners (10-4, 6-3) then intercepted a long pass to end the game, sending Texas (11-3, 5-2) to its second Big 12 home loss. The Sooners have won four in a row.
Texas played without coach Shaka Smart, who announced Monday he has COVID-19 and is in isolation from the team and his family, and players Courtney Ramey, Jericho Sims and Brock Cunningham. Ramey and Sims are starters. The school did not immediately give a reason why the players were unavailable, and assistant coach K.T. Turner was the acting head coach for the Longhorns.
No. 9 Alabama 70, Kentucky 59
Jaden Shackelford scored 21 points to help Alabama beat Kentucky and complete its first regular season two-game sweep over the Wildcats since 1989.
After a back-and-forth second half, Davion Mintz’s 3-pointer put Kentucky up 54-52 with 4:52 remaining in the game. The Alabama defense then made stops on five straight possessions which led to a 10-0 Crimson Tide (14-3, 9-0 SEC) run that essentially put the game away.
This game was much more tightly contested than the 85-65 Alabama win on Jan. 12, but in the end the Kentucky (5-10, 4-4 SEC) offense couldn’t convert in the final few minutes of the game until it was too late.
Auburn 88, No. 12 Missouri 82
Sharife Cooper had 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Auburn to a win over Missouri.
Cooper, a freshman point guard who missed Auburn’s first 11 contests this season, had his fourth 20-point outing in six career games. Bruce Pearl’s young Tigers, which also got 23 combined points from freshmen forwards JT Thor and Chris Moore, are now 4-2 since Cooper was ruled eligible by the NCAA.
Auburn (10-7, 4-5 Southeastern Conference) raced out to a 14-point lead early, thanks in large part to some tenacious defense and rebounding.
Missouri (10-3, 4-3) was led by seniors Jeremiah Tilmon and Dru Smith, who scored 42 of the team’s 82 points.
No. 18 Tennessee 56, Mississippi State 53
Yves Pons scored 13 points and Tennessee overcame a miserable shooting night to beat Mississippi State.
Pons was a critical force in the first half for the Vols. In the final 2:30 of the game, it was freshman Keon Johnson who scored four of his eight points, while taking an important charging foul, to seal the victory for Tennessee (11-3, 5-3 Southeastern Conference).
While the Vols shot 37% from the field, the Bulldogs (9-8, 4-5) managed just 33%.
Mississippi State was led by Iverson Molinar with 16 points and D.J. Stewart with 11.
Dayton 76, No. 22 Saint Louis 71
Jalen Crutcher scored 27 points and Ibi Watson added 18 to lead Dayton to a win over Saint Louis.
Saint Louis was playing its first game since Dec. 23 as the program suspended team activities due to a COVID-19 outbreak just before the team’s first scheduled conference game Dec. 30.
Javonte Perkins led the Billikens with 20 points and Hasahn French added 16 points.
Saint Louis (7-2, 0-1 Atlantic-10) hit just three of 13 shots from 3-point range despite converting 51% of its field goal attempts. The Billikens also made just 10 of 17 free throws.
Dayton (9-4, 5-3) opened the game on a 9-2 run over the first 3:57 and never trailed in the contest.