UNDATED (AP) — Auburn hired Liberty coach Hugh Freeze to take over the football program more than five years after his resignation from SEC West rival Mississippi amid both personal and NCAA scandals. Auburn athletic director John Cohen announced the move after what he called a “well-vetted search.” Freeze went 34-15 in four seasons at Liberty. He replaces Bryan Harsin, who was fired after going 9-12 in less than two seasons at a proud program that has fallen on hard times. Freeze called Auburn “one of the preeminent programs in college football.”
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Ricky Council scored a season-high 27 points and No. 11 Arkansas used a 17-0 run late in the second half to hold off Troy 74-61 on Monday night. Makhi Mitchell and Anthony Black each added 14 points. Nelson Phillips led the Trojans with 23 points. Troy led for most of the game and led by two before Arkansas’ final run.
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia’s recent frustrations in the Southeastern Conference championship game are providing extra motivation for the Bulldogs to remain focused this week. Saturday’s matchup against No. 11 LSU in Atlanta will be No. 1 Georgia’s fifth SEC championship game in the last six seasons under coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs’ only SEC title in that span came in 2017. Georgia is the defending national champion, but most players are still looking for their first conference championship. The players say that’s more than enough reason to avoid the temptation to look ahead to the four-team College Football Playoff.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tolu Smith scored 12 points, D.J. Jeffries scored 10, 11 Mississippi State players entered the scoring column and the Bulldogs used the second half to pull away from Omaha for a 74-54 win. Jaeden Marshall’s 3-pointer with 16:52 remaining reduced Omaha’s deficit to 38-31, but a scoring drought that lasted almost eight minutes for the Mavericks allowed for an 18-0 run and the Bulldogs were never threatened again. Frankie Fildler scored 10 for Omaha and reserve Tony Osburn scored 10 shooting 4 for 5.
UNDATED (AP) — South Carolina remains the unanimous No. 1 choice in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll. The Gamecocks suffered a scare when reigning Player of the Year Aliyah Boston left Sunday’s game with a foot injury. Stanford, UConn, Ohio State and Indiana round out the top five. No. 9 Virginia Tech is in the top 10 for the first time since 1999. Louisville saw its run of 98 straight weeks in the top 10 end as the Cardinals fell to 18th. It was the longest active streak.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said Aliyah Boston’s availability for Tuesday night’s game with No. 15 UCLA is a game-time decision. Boston hurt her right ankle in Sunday’s win over Hampton. She left for the locker room right before halftime and returned in the third quarter with a walking boot over her foot and ankle. Staley said Boston felt better today, although she did not fully participate in practice. Boston was shooting free throws without the boot on after the session wrapped up. If Boston can’t play, Staley said she’s confident in her other post players.
UNDATED (AP) — Houston is the No. 1 team in the AP men’s college basketball poll. It is the first top ranking for the Cougars since Clyde Drexler and Akeem Olajuwon had Houston there in the final poll of the 1982-83 season. They received 45 of 63 first-place votes from a national media panel. Texas climbed to No. 2 with Virginia, Arizona and Purdue rounding out the top five. North Carolina had been No. 1 all season but fell all the way to 18 after losing twice last week. Every slot in the Top 25 has a new team this week except for No. 16 Illinois.
UNDATED (AP) — Tennessee finished the regular season as the Football Bowl Subdivision leader in total offense and scoring while Washington and Air Force led the other major offensive categories. The Volunteers’ 56-0 win over Vanderbilt left them with season averages of 538.1 yards and 47.3 points per game. Washington has thrown for 376.7 yards per game and Air Force has rushed for 330.9 yards per game. UAB’s DeWayne McBride leads the nation with more than 1,700 rushing yards and an average of better than 155 yards per game.
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