Tennessee used a late run Wednesday night to defeat the Ole Miss Rebels at home in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols basketball team has now won 6 of their last 8 games, and look to continue their winning ways in hopes of an NCAA Tournament bid.
Tennessee started off strong in the 1st half with a 16-9 lead, right before Ole Miss came back, and eventually went to the half with a 4-point, 38 to 34 lead over the Volunteers. Tennessee kept it close the entire second half, then went for the knockout with about 4 minutes left. Lamonte Turner made a crucial three-pointer that cut the Ole Miss lead down to 62-60. The Vols made their free throws, rebounded the offensive glass, and iced the game with a minute left. With six seconds left on the shot clock, Tennessee coach Rick Barnes called a timeout to draw up a play. After the whistle, Lamonte Turner kicked it out to a wide open Jordan Bowden on the left side. Bowden sunk the 3 giving the Vols a 71 to 66 lead. That put the game out of reach for the Rebels. The Vols made a few free throws and made the final 75 to 66.
Overall, Tennessee played well when it matter. The Vols led the Rebels in FG percentage with 41.1% over the Rebels 34.3%. Tennessee also had fewer turnovers with 12, compared to Ole Miss, who committed 18 turnovers. Tennessee also cut down on the fouls, with 18. Ole Miss committed 28 fouls.
Senior Robert Hubbs III led the Volunteers’ late comeback with 18 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, and a steal. Grant Williams also made his presence known by adding 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 steals. Jordan Bowden was the unsung hero of the night, making 2 three-pointers, including that game-sealing shot. Bowden also racked up 14 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. Guard Lamonte Turner also had a nice game with 9 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Admiral Schofield came off the bench for the Vols and contributed 7 points, 4 rebounds, and a steal.
Ole Miss’ main scorers were the trio of Terence Davis, Sebastian Saiz, and Breein Tyree. They accounted for 14, 13, and 12 points, respectively. Saiz also came down with a team-high 15 rebounds in the loss. Marcanvis Hyman also played well for the Rebels in the loss, adding 8 points, and 12 rebounds.
For Tennessee, the win means it’s one step closer to the NCAA Tournament. Right now the Volunteers are in a good position to make the Big Dance. They hold a record of 14-10 and a strength of schedule that is in the top 5 in the nation. Of course, quality wins over Kentucky, Kansas State, and Georgia Tech help that cause as well.
Next up, Tennessee will take on Georgia at home. Tip-off is set for 4:00 P.M. EST on Saturday.