March 16, 2019 / 3:52 AM / 2 months ago

No. 8 Tennessee advances to showdown with Kentucky

EditorsNote: 7th graf, take out extraneous “in”

Mar 15, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Quinndary Weatherspoon (11) attempts a shot as he is fouled by Tennessee Volunteers forward Grant Williams (2) in the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Guard Admiral Schofield scored 20 points on 9-of-12 shooting to lead No. 8-ranked Tennessee to an 83-76 victory over Mississippi State on Friday night in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinals at Nashville, Tenn.

Forward Kyle Alexander recorded 16 points and nine rebounds for third-seeded Tennessee (28-4). Forward Grant Williams added 16 points, point guard Jordan Bone had 14 points and nine assists, and guard Jordan Bowden scored 10 points.

Forward Aric Holman was 5 of 5 from 3-point range while scoring 20 points for sixth-seeded Mississippi State (23-10). Guard Quinndary Weatherspoon had 17 points, guard Lamar Peters added 15 points and four steals, and forward Reggie Perry contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Tennessee will face second-seeded Kentucky in Saturday’s semifinals.

The Volunteers shot 51.5 percent from the field, including 5 of 11 from behind the arc. Tennessee racked up 10 steals, including four by guard Lamonte Turner and three by Alexander.

The Bulldogs shot 45.2 percent from the field and made 9 of 25 from 3-point range.

Mississippi State fell behind by 14 with seven minutes left in the second half before eventually moving within 73-66 on a 3-pointer by Holman with 2:20 left.

Holman connected on a long 3-pointer to again cut the deficit to seven with 1:13 remaining but Tennessee pushed the lead back up to 11 en route to closing out the win.

Mississippi State opened the second half with a 10-4 run and knotted the score at 38 on a 3-pointer by Peters with 17:14 left.

Tyson Carter’s dunk tied the score at 42 with 14:51 left, and the Bulldogs were still within three points before the Volunteers kicked it into gear.

Alexander began a 10-0 spurt with a dunk and Schofield and Bowden followed with baskets to make it 55-46. Schofield then drove the lane to hammer home a ferocious dunk and Bowden added two free throws to give Tennessee a 59-46 lead with 9:33 left.

Schofield knocked down a 3-pointer to push the lead to 65-51 with 7:02 remaining.

Williams had 10 first-half points as Tennessee led 34-28 at the break.

Slideshow (84 Images)

Schofield capped a 9-0 burst with a 3-pointer to give the Volunteers a 17-9 advantage with 9:59 left in the half.

The lead again reached eight when Bowden buried a 3-pointer to make it 28-20 with 4:49 left.

—Field Level Media

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