Kessler’s second triple-double helps Auburn rebound; rough week for Brooks’, Huffman’s and Miller’s teams

By R.L. Bynum

For Garrison Brooks, Brandon Huffman and Walker Miller, their teams battled through rough weeks. Walker Kessler’s Auburn team dropped its first SEC game of the season but rebounded thanks to his second triple-double of the season.

After collecting 16 points and 19 rebounds in Auburn’s 80–76 Tuesday loss at Arkansas, Kessler had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 12 blocks in Saturday’s 75–58 home victory over Texas A&M.

The Tigers fell one spot to No. 2 in the latest AP Top 25 poll.

Saturday’s effort was the third triple-double in Auburn program history as he blocked four of Aggies’ first seven shots and the Tigers moved to 22–3 overall and 11–1 in the SEC.

Kessler leads the country in blocked shots at 4.64 per game.

He has 10 double-doubles this season after only doing that last season with his 16-point, 12-rebound game for Carolina against Notre Dame the ACC Tournament.

“He’s one of the most dominant players in all of college basketball,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “How would you have ever thought that you could say that a year ago?”


Although it was a tough week for Mississippi State, Brooks played consistently.

Brooks had 15 points and eight rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 72–63 home loss Wednesday to Tennessee, which moved up three spots to No. 16 in the latest AP Top 25. In Saturday’s 69–65 loss at LSU, he had his 19th career double-double and fourth this season with 11 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high five assists. Brooks had three double-doubles for Carolina last season.

Mississippi State (14–10, 5–6 SEC) has lost three in a row heading into Wednesday’s 7 p.m. home game with Alabama (ESPN2). The Bulldogs play three games five days, with games against Missouri at home at 7 Friday (SEC Network+) and on the road at 8 p.m. Sunday (SEC Network).


Huffman’s Jacksonville State team lost both games last week and has dropped three of its last four games and are 16–9 and 9–3 in the ASUN Conference. The Gamecocks have fallen into a tie with Bellarmine atop the ASUN’s West Division.

Huffman put up his fourth double-double of the season and eighth of his career with 10 points and 11 rebounds in a 67–47 Wednesday loss at Stetson. Huffman had four points and one rebound in a 72–62 Saturday home loss to Central Florida.


Walker Miller had two good games and one rough night as Monmouth lost two of its three games last week.

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After collecting 17 points and eight rebounds in Tuesday’s 83–58 home loss to Marist and 18 points in Friday’s 75–65 win at Manhattan, he was held to seven points on 1 of 8 shooting in Sunday’s 70–62 loss at league-leading Iona.

The Hawks (16–9, 8–6) are fourth in the MAAC.


Seventh Woods started but was scoreless with two turnovers and a steal in 12 minutes in Morgan State’s 74–64 home loss Saturday to N.C. Central. The Bears (7–12, 2–5 MEAC) are seventh in the eight-team MEAC.


Jeremiah Francis had four points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal in 12 minutes of New Mexico’s 78–46 Friday non-conference win over Northern New Mexico. It was the second consecutive win for the Lobos (10–14, 2–9 Mountain West).

How the seven former Tar Heels did

Garrison Brooks, Mississippi State center
72–63 Wednesday loss vs. Tennessee —
Started; 34 minutes, 15 points, 6–9 FG, 1–1 3FG, 2–2 FT, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks
69–65 Saturday loss at LSU — Started; 35 minutes, 11 points, 3–8 FG, 5–6 FT, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 turnovers.
Season statistics — 23 games, 23 starts, 11.5 points, 49.1 FG%, 36.0% 3FG%, 64.8% FT%, 6.7 rebounds; season totals of 16 assists, 18 blocks, 8 steals
Up next — 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Alabama, ESPN2; 7 p.m. Friday vs. Missouri, SEC Network+’ 8 p.m. Sunday at Missouri, SEC Network
———————————————
Jeremiah Francis, New Mexico guard
78–46 Friday win vs. Northern New Mexico —
12 minutes, 4 points, 2–4 FG, 0–2 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Season statistics —
10 games, 1 start, 2.0 points, 42.9% FG, 2–9 3FG; season totals of 8 rebounds, 15 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
Up next — 9 p.m. Tuesday vs. Wyoming, Stadium; 9 p.m. Thursday vs. Colorado State, Mountain West Network; 5 p.m. Sunday at San Jose State, CBS Sports Network
———————————————
Brandon Huffman, Jacksonville State forward/center
67–57 Wednesday loss at Stetson —
Started; 18 minutes, 7 points, 3–4 FG, 1–1 FT, 4 rebounds, 3 fouls, 2 turnovers, 3 blocks
72–62 Saturday loss vs. Central Arkansas — Started; 10 minutes, 4 points, 2–3 FG, 0–2 FG, 1 rebound
Season statistics —
25 games, 25 starts, 9.8 points, 64.8 FG%, 0–1 3FG, 55.9 FT%, 6.0 rebounds; season totals of 5 assists, 26 blocks and 8 steals
Up next — Wednesday at Lipscomb, ESPN+; 6 p.m. Sunday at Bellarmine, ESPN+
———————————————
Walker Kessler, Auburn forward/center
80–76 Tuesday loss at Arkansas —
Started; 33 minutes, 16 points, 6–11 FG, 2–5 3FG, 2–6 FT, 19 rebounds, 5 fouls, 2 turnovers, 7 blocks
75–58 Saturday win vs. Texas A&M — Started; 24 minutes, 12 points, 5–7 FG, 2–4 FT, 11 rebounds, 4 fouls, 1 assist, 12 blocks
Season statistics —
25 games, 25 starts, 11.6 points, 63.1 FG%, 20.5% 3FG, 63.2 FT%, 8.5 rebounds; season totals of 20 assists, 116 blocks, 26 steals
Up next — 9 p.m. Wednesday vs. Vanderbilt, SEC Network; 2 p.m. Saturday at Florida, ESPN
———————————————
Walker Miller, Monmouth forward
83–58 Tuesday loss vs. Marist —
Started; 26 minutes, 17 points, 5–13 FG, 0–1 3FG, 7–10 FT, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 block
75–65 Friday win at Manhattan — Started; 31 minutes, 18 points, 6–10 FG, 1–3 3FG, 5–8 FT, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 blocks, 2 steals
70–62 Sunday loss at Iona — Started; 23 minutes, 7 points, 1–8 FG, 0–1 3FG, 5–6 FT, 6 rebounds, 3 fouls, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 2 steals
Season statistics —
25 games, 25 starts, 15.0 points, 47.6 FG%, 31.3 3FG%, 76.3 FT%, 6.3 rebounds; season totals of 29 assists, 24 blocks, 18 steals
Up next — 7 p.m. Friday vs. Rider; 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, vs. Siena, ESPN+
———————————————
Andrew Platek, Siena guard
Out for the season after having surgery to repair a full tear in the Achilles tendon in his left leg
Season statistics — 5 games, 3 starts, 9.0 points, 40.9 FG%, 31.3 3FG%, 4–4 FT, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists
———————————————
Seventh Woods, Morgan State guard
74–64 Saturday loss vs. N.C. Central —
Started; 12 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–1 3FG, 2 turnovers, 1 steal
Season statistics —
13 games, 9 starts, 5.4 points, 45.8 FG%, 23.1 3FG%, 61.9% FT, 2.2 rebounds; season total of 36 assists, 7 steals, 2 blocks
Up next — 7:30 p.m. Monday vs. South Carolina State; 2 p.m. Saturday vs. Howard in Cleveland, ESPN2, TNT, NBATV
———————————————






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