Vols Rally Late To Edge Basketball Tigers

Auburn just missed a chance to pull out a road victory on Saturday night in Knoxville.

Knoxville, Tenn.--Junior Scooter McFadgon hit a key three-point shot with 1:19 left and then nailed six straight free throws as Tennessee held off a comeback from Auburn on Saturday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The six-foot-two guard put the Vols ahead for good at 69-66 with his three-point shot and was flawless at the foul line before and after his big shot as the Vols took a 75-69 SEC basketball victory. He led all scorers with 23 points and hit 13-13 free throws.

³Scooter McFadgon is a big-time player and he gave them the shot that was needed,² said Auburn coach Cliff Ellis, who saw his team fall to 13-12 overall and 4-10 in the SEC. UT improved to 14-11 overall and 6-8 in the conference.

Brandon Robinson led the Tigers with 19 points and 12 rebounds in a reserve role despite being questionable before the game on how much action he would see due to an illness. The junior forward led Auburn¹s comeback from a 12-point first half deficit.

Ian Young scored 11 for the Tigers as a starter and Quinnel Brown added 10 points and six rebounds.

Tennessee got 16 points from C.J. Watson and 10 from Brandon Crump.

Auburn came out cold shooting the ball from the field, but kept Tennessee from pulling away by crashing the boards.

The Vols still managed to lead most of the half. A three-pointer from the wing by McFadgon put the Vols ahead 11-8 six minutes into the contest. The Vols built that lead to 29-17 at the 4:36 mark before AU made a late run before intermission.

At halftime Auburn trailed only 34-29 thanks to free throw shooting. The Tigers hit 12-15 at the foul line compared to 5-6 for the Vols. AU held a 23-18 rebounding edge at intermission. The Tigers hit just 8-30 field goals to 13-30 for the home team in the first half, but came out shooting better in the second half.

The Tigers took their first lead of the game less than five minutes into the second half on back-to-back tip-in baskets by Kyle Davis to move in front 37-36.

The Vols regained the lead and built their edge to four points. AU tied the game at 45-45 on a three-pointer by Nathan Watson and moved head 48-47 on a three-pointer off a fastbreak by Ronny LeMelle. LeMelle, a virtually unused player in SEC action, scored again to make it 50-47 at the 10:41 mark and a foul shot by Robinson put AU up by four.

The Vols tied the game at 53-53 on a three-pointer by Watson. Immediately after the shot, Marco Killingsworth and UT¹s Brandon Crump tangled while running down the court and both players were tossed out of the game for fighting with nine minutes to play. That means both will miss the next game.

Auburn then scored six straight points on an Ian Young three-pointer, a free throw by Monroe and a jump shot by Robinson at the 7:18 mark. However, the Vols scored eight straight points to move ahead 61-53 at the 5:29 mark on a pair of free throws by Watson.

Auburn regained the lead on a hook shot by Robinson with 4:18 to play. Tennessee took the lead at the 2:18 mark on a free of free throws by C.J. Watson before Robinson tied the game by making the front end of a one-and-one with 2:02 left.

The Tigers, who had just 12 turnovers for the game, made two in the next minute to help the Vols gain control of the contest. UT also committed 12 turnovers.

Auburn out-rebounded Tennessee 43-32, but was outshot. The Vols made 43.4 percent of their field goals to Auburn¹s 36.5 percent. The Tigers did better in the second half, making 15-31 field goals.

For the game the Vols were deadly at the foul line by making 24-28 free throws. Auburn hit 17-23 free throws.

UT was 5-15 on three-pointers while Auburn made 6-18.

Auburn plays its final road game on Tuesday with an 8 p.m. tipoff at Mississippi State in a game televised by ESPN. The Tigers close the regular season at home next Saturday at 3 p.m. vs. LSU.

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