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No. 17 Tennessee advances to SEC Tournament quarterfinal with 70-55 win over Ole Miss

Josiah-Jordan James led the way in the win with 20 points and 7 rebounds.
Credit: Tennessee Athletics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — No. 17 Tennessee men's basketball took care of Ole Miss 70-55 in the second round of the SEC Tournament on Thursday afternoon in Nashville.

The Vols and Rebels traded plenty of baskets early. UT couldn't gain a bigger lead than by two points early. Ole Miss gained some momentum.

The game was tied at 19-19 and the Rebels rattled off six straight points. The Vols promptly responded with eight straight points of their own to take a 27-25 lead, punctuated by a Jahmai Mashack three-pointer.

Ole Miss hung tight, though. With the Vols down 31-29, Santiago Vescovi scored on a jump shot and then drilled a three-pointer to give UT a three-point lead. After the Rebels scored on a layup from Myles Burns, Tobe Awaka extended the lead to three again after a bucket. Josiah-Jordan James made a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer and the Vols took a 39-33 lead into the locker room.

Tennessee shot seven of 15 from three-point range in the first half. James made three of them, Vescovi made two of them and Nkamhoua and Mashack had one each.

When the second half started, James produced again. He scored two points off a pair of free throws and then made another three-pointer to give the Vols a 44-33 lead.

The Rebels found a way to chip away. Matthew Murrell hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to four points, 52-48. Tyreke Key responded with a three-pointer to go up 55-48 and then Uros Plavsic scored a layup to get up 57-48.

They'd get back up by double digits and took care of business from there.

Josiah-Jordan James led the way in the win with 20 points and seven rebounds.

Tennessee will play Missouri on Friday in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. The Vols lost the only matchup they had with the Tigers this season when Deandre Gholston hit a game-winning three-point heave shot for the 86-85 win.

That game is slated for approximately 3:30 p.m. inside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The game will be televised on ESPN.

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