Vols win big one at Auburn

Ron Slay scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, including a crucial putback in the final minute, as the Basketball Vols won a big one Saturday afternoon, nipping homestanding Auburn 60-57.

The Vos led the entire game but clung to a mere 58-56 margin until Slay followed a Thaydeus Holden miss with 32 seconds left to widen the gap to 60-56.

Auburn got a free throw to pull within 60-57, then Vol freshman C.J. Watson missed the front end of a one-and-one that could've put the game on ice. Tiger standout Marquis Daniels missed two potential game-tying 3-point tries -- the last clanging off the rim at the buzzer -- enabling the Vols to hang on.

Tennessee (11-6, 4-3 SEC) led by 13 in the first half and by 10 early in the second half. Auburn (15-5, 5-3) closed to 51-50 on a dunk by Brandon Robinson with 5:25 to play but Watson answered with two free throws and a basket that widened the gap to 55-50.

Supporting Slay were Watson and Brandon Crump with 10 point apiece. Daniels and Robinson scored 15 points each for the Tigers.

Next up for Tennessee is a Wednesday night visit from UMass. The Vols return to SEC warfare Saturday, hosting Georgia. The Dawgs nipped Tennessee 81-76 in overtime Jan. 22 in Athens.

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