Tennessee forward Admiral Schofield (5) celebrates after a three-point basket against Kentucky during the second half of an NCAA college basketball championship game at the Southeastern Conference tournament Sunday, March 11, 2018, in St. Louis. He has been particularly impressive since the All-Star break, putting together three 40-point performances, including a 53-point, 18-rebound outburst in the Pelicans' victory over the Phoenix Suns on February 26. After a long two by Knox, Kentucky held an 8-3 advantage after the first media timeout.
The most surprising thing about Tennessee's fast start Saturday was that Arkansas was able to keep pace, for the most part, over the course of 10 minutes when the one shot the Volunteers missed was the only layup they attempted.
I don't need to tell Vol fans not to take this opportunity for granted. But Killeya-Jones dunked the rebound to give United Kingdom a 66-62 lead going into the final three-plus minutes.
Bone poured in 17 points in the first half, making all seven of his field goal attempts, including three from behind the arc.
United Kingdom kept turning up the defense and turning it to offense.
Those shots began a 14-2 United Kingdom run that built a 52-43 lead with 12:42 left.
Gilgeous-Alexander drained a 17-footer with 59 seconds left to give Kentucky a 70-67 lead.
United Kingdom made its first three shots against Tennessee. Because they were one of the top four seeds, the Volunteers were playing only their second game of the tournament.
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Schofield said he couldn't discredit the Razorbacks, who beat the Vols 95-93 in overtime in Walton Arena on December 30 to open SEC play.
But Kentucky has struggled with Tennessee this season and lost both meetings.
As the second half began, Tennessee kept charging. A Kevin Knox lay-up gave United Kingdom a 38-33 lead.
Although two free throws by Gilgeous-Alexander put United Kingdom ahead 68-62 with 2:53 left, it nearly wasn't enough. Three-Pointers - Arkansas 6-15 (Barford 3-6, Macon 2-3, Beard 1-4, Jones 0-2), Tennessee 11-17 (Schofield 2-2, Bone 3-4, Turner 3-6, Daniel 3-4, Johnson 0-1). Then everybody was hitting shots. SGA would hit the free throw to give United Kingdom a 43-41 lead. "We didn't turn the ball over or take bad shots leading to run outs and easy points in transition that eliminated a lot of their scoring".
After Tennessee cut it to 52-48, Wenyen Gabriel hit his 9th three in his last 10 tries. Volunteers in front 57-55. J-Byrd (James Daniel) was hitting. After the game was tied up.
The Volunteers had a few chances to increase their lead and ice the game, but missed a few free throws. He put in three substitutes (Green, Killeya-Jones and PJ Washington). The Wildcats would take a 70-67 lead.
Tennessee struggled to put away Mississippi State at the end, missing a slew of free throws.
Many fans expect Tennessee to win the SEC tournament and then land a third or fourth seed in the NCAA Tournament.