Grant Williams scored 21 points, including the go-ahead basket with four seconds left, to lift No. 7 Tennessee over Mississippi 73-71 on Wednesday night.
Tennessee (25-3, 13-2 Southeastern Conference) bounced back from a tough loss to LSU on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over the Rebels. The Volunteers remain in a three-way tie atop the SEC with LSU and Kentucky.
The Volunteers trailed 39-34 at halftime, but used a 14-0 run early in the second half to jump back ahead. Ole Miss wouldn’t go away, pushing in front 58-57 on Terence Davis’ 3-pointer with 10 minutes left.
From that point forward, it was a back-and-forth struggle. Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree missed the front end of a one-and-one with 18 seconds remaining, Tennessee grabbed the rebound and Williams hit a driving layup in the lane to make it 72-71.
Ole Miss (19-9, 9-6) had one more opportunity in the final seconds, but Devontae Shuler was called for a charge while shooting a deep 3-pointer with a second left. Tyree and Davis led the Rebels with 16 points each.
Tennessee scored the first eight points and led for most of the first half. Ole Miss rallied in the final minutes to take its five-point halftime lead.
THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
No Ole Miss players knelt for the national anthem before the game.
The minutes before the game were highly anticipated after eight Mississippi players kneeled during the anthem in response to a Confederacy rally near the arena before the Rebels’ 72-71 victory over Georgia on Saturday.
But there were no obvious demonstrations before the Tennessee game, with players standing in their usual spot along the free throw line in front of the Ole Miss bench.
Tennessee: It was a huge bounce-back win for Tennessee, which got the clutch shot it needed from Williams in the final seconds. Lamonte’ Turner added 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field.
Ole Miss: A tough loss for the Rebels, who likely would have assured themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament with a win. Bruce Stevens was a bright spot with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Tennessee: Returns home to face No. 4 Kentucky on Saturday.
Ole Miss: Plays at Arkansas on Saturday.