Auburn’s offense was flowing at the end of the first half. Desean Murray hit his third three-pointer and ripped off five straight points to put the Tigers up by 10 over the Crimson Tide at halftime.
Then, the Collin Sexton show started.
Sexton scored 31 points, and Alabama used a strong second half to defeat No. 16 Auburn 81-63 Friday in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Kentucky 62, Georgia 49
PJ Washington scored 11 of his 18 points in the second half for Kentucky, which advanced to face Alabama in the SEC Tournament semifinals.
Kevin Knox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander each added 15 points for the Wildcats (22-10), who have won the last three conference tournaments.
Tyree Crump led the Bulldogs (18-15) with 17 points. Georgia’s Yante Maten, The Associated Press SEC player of the year, was held to nine points on 2 of 10 shooting.
“It was their third game in three days,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “Our whole thing was: ‘Let’s get into their legs. Let’s pressure them. Let’s do things to get into their legs.’ That was probably the biggest reason.”
Tennessee 62, Mississippi State 59
No. 13 Tennessee (24-7) led nearly the entire game, but the Volunteers had to hang on for a quarterfinal victory.
Mississippi State (22-11) had an opportunity to take the lead in the final 10 seconds. The Bulldogs trailed 61-59 when Xavian Stapleton missed a three-pointer that would have put his team ahead.