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No. 22 Tennessee beats USC 73-66 in overtime to advance to Battle 4 Atlantis final

Santiago Vescovi hit a three-pointer with under two minutes left in overtime to give the Vols the lead. The defense came up big from there.
Credit: Tennessee Athletics

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Tennessee men's basketball advanced to the Battle 4 Atlantis final on Thanksgiving day with a win over USC.

The Vols were without guard/forward Josiah-Jordan James again due to knee soreness.

Freshman Julian Phillips stepped up for the team. He scored 13 first-half points. He was helped out by Olivier Nkamhoua who had 8 points in the first half. Jahmai Mashack had 7 points and three steals, with one of those steals leading to a thunderous dunk plus the foul.

Tennessee got up by seven in the first half, but USC kept it close.

Right before the halftime buzzer, USC's Boogie Ellis hit a three-pointer. He led all first-half scorers with 15 points. The Vols still led at halftime 37-34.

UT got up 39-34 in the second half, and then USC went on a 9-0 run to take a 43-39 lead.

Tennessee trailed 45-41 and then went on a run of their own. The Vols rattled off 10 points in a row to take a 51-45 lead. 

USC came back once again though and back and forth both teams switched the lead.

The Vols trailed 62-58 with about three minutes left in the second half, and Phillips hit a jump shot that trimmed the lead to two. It also gave him his first 20-point game as  Vol. Nkamhoua tied the game at 62-62 with 1:01 left in the game.

The game went to overtime with that score after both teams missed chances to take the lead before the end of regulation.

With under two minutes to go, the game was tied at 66-66. Santiago Vescvovi then made a three-pointer to take a 69-66 lead. The Vols defense forced three turnovers late and made free throws when fouled.

The Vols won 733-66. Phillips finished with 25 points.

Tennessee plays No. 3 Kansas at 7:30 p.m. on Friday in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game.

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