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No. 12 Tennessee loses regular season finale to Auburn, 79-70

Tennessee finishes with an overall record of 22-9 and an SEC record of 11-7 in the regular season.
Credit: AP
Tennessee guard Jahmai Mashack (15) puts up a shot over Auburn forward Johni Broome (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. — No. 12 Tennessee falls in the regular season finale on the road to Auburn 79-70 on Saturday afternoon.

The Vols held a 17-15 lead through the first two media timeouts. Santiago Vescovi had the hot shooting hand to start the game. He scored 8 of the Vols' first 17 points, drilling two three-pointers.

The Vols and Tigers were tied 27-27 with 3:33  left in the first half.  UT went on a 7-0 run and didn't allow the Tigers a made FG in 4:07 of play to extend that lead.

However,  Wendell Green Jr. made a three-pointer for Auburn at the buzzer before halftime. Tennessee took a 34-30 lead into the locker room.

Auburn jumped out in front in the second half after a 10-2 run to lead 40-36. The Vols tied it at 43-43 after Tyreke Key scored on a layup off a lob pass from Vescovi, but the Tigers immediately responded as  Allen Flanigan scored on a layup.

Julian Phillips tied the game back up with a massive one-handed slam dunk. 

Jaylin Williams hit a three for Auburn to put them back up 48-45.

The Tigers jumped out to their biggest lead after a play where they saved a ball from going out of bounds, a nice assist and a dunk from Lior Berman for a 53-47 lead.

The Vols fought back and Vescovi drilled a three-pointer to give UT the lead back 59-58.

With Tennessee up 63-60, Auburn went on a 9-0 run to match their largest lead punctuated with a Flanigan layup.

Later down 69-64, Green Jr. scored on an and-one for Auburn to extend get a new largest lead of 72-64.

Tennessee would not recover and went on to lose, 79-70.

The regular season comes to a close for Tennessee. They finish with an overall record of 22-9 and an SEC record of 11-7.

The Vols will be a five-seed in the SEC Tournament, which means they will play on Thursday at approximately 3 p.m.

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