July 18, 2024

Tennessee capitalizes on opportunities, outlasts Ole Miss in revenge game

Tennessee used a late surge to earn revenge over a pesky Ole Miss team, 75-66.

Photo by Ben Proffitt.

Tennessee senior guard #3 Robert Hubbs III flies high for a huge dunk against Ole Miss in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Feb. 8, 2017.

About three weeks ago, Ole Miss rallied to beat Tennessee on its home court in Oxford, 80-69.

The Volunteers flipped the script Wednesday night in Knoxville, handing the Rebels their 10th loss of the season with a 75-66 victory.

It wasn’t a pretty win for Tennessee (14-10, 6-5 SEC), as head coach Rick Barnes was quick to point out after the game.

“The fact is, you’re going to have to win some tough games,” Barnes said after the win. “All you have to do is execute the game plan.”

The Vols built a 16-9 lead midway through the first half, but Ole Miss (14-10, 5-6 SEC) quickly responded to take the lead back and eventually hold a four-point advantage at halftime.

The second half showcased the same level of competition, except for one glaring difference: the Vols made the crucial shots down the stretch, including a game-icing three-pointer from freshman Jordan Bowden with 54 seconds remaining.

That made the score 71-66 before a pair of Lamonte Turner free throws and one form Grant Williams brought the Vols’ final tally to 75.

Williams was big outside of the free throw line as well for Tennessee, recording four of the Volunteers’ nine blocked shots to add to 18 points and seven rebounds.

“Man, (Williams) is just so active and uses the ball well,” Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy said after the game. “I thought he was big with blocked shots. He’s a terrific player.”

Senior guard Robert Hubbs III tied Williams with 18 points after saying Tennessee’s last loss to Mississippi State was on him.

Following Hubbs and Williams was Jordan Bowden, who had 14 points, while Jordan Bone led the way in assists with five.

The Vols recorded 25 points from the charity stripe on the night and 18 off of turnovers, making big opportunities count when they needed to do so.

Tennessee also got plenty of help from the bench — the Vols’ bench players put up 21 points to Ole Miss’s 11 points.

“Give Tennessee credit, they hit big shots,” Kennedy said. “Tennessee just made all the effort-winning plays that you need to make down the stretch.”

Tennessee faces Georgia (13-11, 4-6 SEC) Saturday in Knoxville at 4 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Edited by Nathan Odom

Featured image by Ben Proffitt

Sports editor Jake Nichols has been part of the TNJN staff in two different capacities. His freshman and sophomore years, Jake worked as a staff writer before moving on to write for Rocky Top Insider, and he also worked with VFL Films and the SEC Network for a semester his junior year. When asked the summer before his senior year to return to TNJN as the sports editor, Jake jumped at the chance to end his time in Knoxville working with the organization he first began with as a freshman. Jake is excited to help lead younger writers, much like former editors Cody McClure and Jordan Dajani aided him. Jake also does freelance sports coverage and photography for The Mountain Press in Sevierville, Tenn., and in his spare time, he can be found with family, his girlfriend or driving his Jeep, most likely with his Canon in tow. Be sure and follow Jake on Twitter and Instagram at @jnichols_2121, and keep up with TNJN Sports on Twitter as well!