The Southeastern Conference and the Big East kicked off the 2011 SEC/Big East challenge last night. Four games kicked off the challenge, with each team picking up two wins apiece.
In the first game, Providence defeated South Carolina on the road by a score of 76-67. The Friars were led by LaDontae Henton and Gerard Coleman, each scored 18 points. Vincent Council also scored 16 points for the Friars who shot 48 percent from the field. South Carolina had more rebounds and fewer turnovers but couldn't shoot at all.
The Gamecocks shot a terrible 36 percent from the field while also taking 30 three-point shots making only six. South Carolina got 21 points from Malik Cooke. Providence moved to 6-2 while South Carolina fell to 2-5.
Kentucky destroyed St. John's in the second game 81-59. Freshman Anthony Davis had the best night I have seen by a SEC player this year. Davis scored 15 points; he also had 15 rebounds and eight blocks.
Kentucky won every facet of the game. The Wildcats had a unbelievable 18 blocks on the night. Terrence Jones paced the Cats with 26 points. St. John's shot a terrible 31 percent from the field. God'sgift Achiuwa led the Red Storm with 18 points and 10 boards. Kentucky moved to 7-0 with the win while St. John's fell to 4-4.
The Ole Miss rebels held off DePaul to get the second win for the SEC in the challenge. The Rebels jumped out to a 14-point first-half lead before DePaul stormed back to take the lead in the second half. Ole Miss would not give up and scored in the closing seconds to win 70-68. In a very tight battle, it was the Rebels' good shooting that proved to be the winner.
The Rebels shot 55 percent from the field to steal one on the road. Ole Miss moved to 6-1 while DePaul feel to 4-2.
In the last game of the night, Georgetown did what it needed to do to upset No. 12 Alabama. Georgetown took a seven-point halftime lead after Alabama could only manage 16 points in the first half. The Crimson Tide turned it up in the second half but couldn't finish Georgetown, losing 57-55.
This game was evenly played all night long. Both teams shot around 44 percent from the field but it was Alabama's three-point shooting that killed them. Alabama fell to 7-1 while Georgetown moved to 6-1.
After four games, the SEC and Big East each have won two games with four more planned for Friday and Saturday.