Crump's 26 pace UT

No Vol took more heat during Tennessee's 2-3 start than 6-foot-10 Brandon Crump but no Vol stood taller in Saturday's 71-69 defeat of Xavier.

Crump scored a career-high 26 points, including a basket that gave UT the lead for good with 1:48 to go. Scooter McFadgon, another senior tri-captain, added 16 points.

The third tri-captain, C.J. Watson, missed two free throws that could've sealed the win with 7.5 seconds left but stole the ball as Xavier was setting up the potential game-tying or game-winning final shot to redeem himself and seal the victory.

Tennessee, now 3-3, hit 7 of 10 shots from 3-point range. The Vols jacked up 29 attempts from beyond the arc in their loss to UT-Chattanooga six days earlier.

The Big Orange also took care of the ball, committing just 8 turnovers.

The much-maligned Vols came out smoking in this game. Crump scored eight quick points as Tennessee raced to a 14-3 lead. The Vols went cold, however, and Xavier made a 16-4 run that gave the Musketeers a 19-18 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the half.

A reverse layup by McFadgon and a 3-point basket by Jordan Howell put Tennessee on top 34-29 with 2:29 left to the break but two baskets by Will Caudle sandwiched around a 3 by Stanley Burrell enabled the Musketeers to pull even 36-all by halftime.

Crump hit 6 of 9 field goal tries in the half and had 14 of Tennessee's 36 points. The Vol defense was weak, allowing Xavier to hit 50 percent (12 of 24) from the field.

The Musketeers came out smoking to start the second half, outscoring Tennessee 11-3 to build a 47-39 lead with 15:48 to go. Crump finally stopped the bleeding with a three-point play.

The Vols closed to 55-54 on an Andre Patterson follow shot with 9 minutes left but Justin Doelman hit a 3 for Xavier. A Crump layup and a pair of McFadgon free throws tied the score at 58-all with 7:40 to go.

A Dedrick Finn 3 gave the visitors a 61-58 lead but Tennessee pulled even at 64 when McFadgon hit the first of two free throws. With a chance to give UT the lead, however, he missed the second -- his first miss after 31 consecutive successes.

McFadgon hit a driving 8-footer to give Tennessee a 66-64 lead but Xavier pulled even at 67. Crump made a half hook as the Vols went up 69-67 with 1:48 left. The Vols could've locked up the win at this point but they missed four of six free throws in the final two minutes.


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