No. 4 Tennessee wins 66-59 at No. 17 South Carolina to clinch first outright SEC crown in 16 years

Wed, Mar 6, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

No. 4 Tennessee wins 66-59 at No. 17 South Carolina to clinch first outright SEC crown in 16 years

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Dalton Knecht scored 26 points and No. 4 Tennessee withstood a late run by No. 17 South Carolina for a 66-59 victory Wednesday night that wrapped up its first Southeastern Conference regular-season title since 2018.

The Gamecocks (24-6, 12-5 SEC) cut a 14-point second-half deficit to 59-56 on Meechie Johnson's inside shot with 1:13 to go. But the Volunteers (24-6, 14-3) hit seven foul shots the rest of the way to seal an outright league championship.

Tennessee shared the SEC regular-season crown six years ago with Auburn. The last time the Vols had won it outright was 2008.

Johnson led South Carolina with 18 points.

NO. 1 HOUSTON 67, UCF 59

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - L.J. Cryer scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half as top-ranked Houston rallied past UCF to clinch at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season title in the Cougars' first season in the conference.

Houston (27-3, 14-3) led by nine after Cryer's 3-pointer with 2:18 to play. UCF (15-14, 6-11) closed within four with just over a minute left, but Cryer hit another clutch shot to help the Cougars put it away.

The Cougars trailed by as many as seven and never led in the first half. They didn't take their first lead until Jamal Shead drained a 3 to make it 45-42 with about 12 minutes remaining.

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Shead finished with 16 points and eight assists. J'Wan Roberts had 12 points and seven rebounds.

C.J. Walker led UCF with 15 points.

NO. 2 UCONN 74, NO. 8 MARQUETTE 67

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Alex Karaban and Cam Spencer shot a combined 10 of 16 from 3-point range and Big East champion UConn defeated Marquette 74-67 for its first road win over an AP Top 25 team in a decade.

UConn (27-3, 17-2 Big East) had lost 21 straight true road games against ranked opponents since 2014. The Huskies beat ranked Memphis teams at the FedEx Forum twice that year, in January and again two months later in the American Athletic Conference Tournament. Memphis was technically the visiting team on its home floor during the AAC Tournament game as the lower seed.

This marked UConn's first road win over a top-10 team since a 93-82 triumph at No. 8 Marquette in February 2009.

Karaban scored 23 points while shooting 5 of 9 from beyond the arc to help the Huskies win for the 17th time in 18 games. Spencer went 5 of 7 on 3-point attempts and had 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals.

Kam Jones scored 18 and Oso Ighodaro had 16 for Marquette (22-8, 13-6), which played a second straight game without injured Tyler Kolek, the 2023 Big East player of the year.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball

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