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Here is the latest SEC sports news from The Associated Press

By The Associated Press | Updated - Feb. 4, 2020 at 6:05 a.m. | Posted - Feb. 4, 2020 at 1:30 a.m.



STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Quarterback K.J. Costello says he will leave Stanford to finish his college career playing for Mike Leach at Mississippi State. Costello's announcement comes less than a month after Mississippi State hired Leach away from Washington State. Leach’s teams have led the nation in passing in 10 of his 18 seasons as a head coach at Texas Tech and Washington State. Mississippi State averaged 179.5 yards passing per game this past season to rank 12th out of 14 Southeastern Conference teams. Costello earned second-team all-Pac-12 honors with Stanford in 2018. He played just five games in 2019 while dealing with injuries.

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Freshman Rickea Jackson had a career-high 24 points, and No. 8 Mississippi State ran past Georgia 67-53. Jackson followed a 22-point effort against Auburn by posting her second consecutive career high. She began 3 for 11 from the field but hit her final five shots. The Bulldogs began 4 of 19 front the field and trailed 15-11 before taking control by outscoring Georgia 45-23 over the next two quarters. Que Morrison had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Georgia, which lost leading scorer Gabby Connally with an eye injury in the first half.

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — South Carolina, Baylor, Louisville and Oregon would be the four top seeds if the women's NCAA Tournament began Monday. The NCAA has provided its first snapshot of the top 16 teams in the tournament field. Those schools would potentially host the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, which begins March 20. The initial reveal has five Pac-12 teams hosting the opening two rounds. The committee will do one more top 16 reveal on March 2. The bracket will be unveiled on March 16.

UNDATED (AP) — Baylor has strengthened its hold on No. 1 in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll. The Bears received 49 of 65 first-place votes in the latest poll to stay comfortably ahead of Gonzaga and Kansas. That's up from 44 first-place votes from the previous week. The Bears are atop the rankings for a third straight week. The Zags got 15 first-place votes after having 19 a week earlier. No. 9 Maryland and No. 11 Auburn made the week's biggest jumps. Each rose six spots. No. 21 Creighton and No. 23 Arizona re-entered the poll. Wichita State and Rutgers fell out.

NEW YORK (AP) — South Carolina has retained its firm grip on the top spot in The Associated Press women's college basketball poll. The Gamecocks received 26 of 30 first-place votes in the latest poll after routing Mississippi and beating then-No. 22 Tennessee. Baylor received three first-place votes to remain second. Oregon, UConn and Louisville rounded out the first five teams in the poll. The top seven teams were unchanged from last week. Mississippi State inched up from No. 9 to No. 8.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee wanted to show this year that it had built a men's basketball program strong enough to withstand the loss of three draft picks and remain a Southeastern Conference contender. It hasn’t quite worked out that way as the reconstruction of Tennessee’s roster proved even more dramatic than expected. Not a single guy who started an NCAA Tournament game for Tennessee last season continues to play for the Volunteers. Tennessee has lost three straight games and will have to go on a major late-season run to have any shot at earning a third straight NCAA bid.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference has named John McDaid coordinator of football officials.Commissioner Greg Sankey announced McDaid's appointment to replace Steve Shaw. McDaid has been a college football official for 24 years and joined the SEC as a referee in 2015. He previously worked for two years as a referee in the American Athletic Conference and held that job in the Big East Conference from 2006-2012. Shaw had led SEC officials since 2011 but was recently named national coordinator for college football by the board of managers at College Football Officiating, LLC.

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