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No. 22 Tennessee beats USC in OT at Atlantis semifinals

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) Tennessee has twice played without its leading scorer at the Battle 4 Atlantis. It hasn’t stopped the 22nd-ranked Volunteers from reaching the championship game.

Julian Phillips scored a season-high 25 points to help Tennessee hold off Southern California 73-66 in overtime in Thursday’s semifinals, setting up a matchup with third-ranked and reigning national champion Kansas for the title.

Phillips, a first-year forward, made 7 of 13 shots and 10 of 12 free throws to go with eight rebounds for the Volunteers (4-1), with four of those free throws coming in the OT. It was part of a strong and aggressive performance, one with Wilson being active at both ends.

The Volunteers also got key contributions from Santiago Vescovi, Zakai Zeigler and Olivier Nkamhoua to grind through this one.

”I think this tournament’s been great for us,” coach Rick Barnes said. ”Still haven’t got our feet under us totally, but playing against a team like we did yesterday and coming back today against a zone team … I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and it wasn’t.”

Tennessee won despite again being without leading scorer Josiah-Jordan James (13.7 points per game) due to soreness in his left knee. He had an offseason procedure on that same joint, and Barnes has said he’s day-to-day.

Boogie Ellis scored 21 points in his second big output in as many days to lead the Trojans (4-2), but USC committed 20 turnovers – six in the overtime – that the Volunteers converted into 25 points.

”Our players played hard,” USC coach Andy Enfield said. ”They played well for most of the game, a lot of the stretches. But some of the turnovers are us getting sped up and some are bad decision making. But it’s tough to continuously turn the ball over that many times.”

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: The Volunteers pulled away in the second half to beat Butler in Wednesday night’s final first-round game. This time, Tennessee won despite shooting just 3 for 18 from 3-point range, with Phillips and Nkamhoua (12…


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Author : Field Level Media

Publish date : 2022-11-24 21:03:56

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2022-11-25

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