Vols win on Senior Night, stay in tourney race

The Tennesssee basketball team bounced back from a 4-loss streak with a 59-49 win over No. 21 Mississippi State on Wednesday night. The win kept their hopes of playing the NCAA Tournament very much alive.

The Tennessee basketball team improved their overall record to 16-10 overall and more importantly 8-7 in the Southeastern Conference. The win makes it possible for the Vols to go into Vanderbilt on Saturday and possibly wrap up a seed in the Big Dance. Most all bracket experts have said Tennessee is a lock to play in the NCAA Tournament with a 9-7 conference record.

Brandon Crump threw down a big dunk with 3:30 remaining that seemed to knock the wind out of MSU for the last time. The dunk took Tennessee's lead to 51-46 and the Dogs never threatened after that.

Tennessee only allowed 15 field goals (33.3%) in this defensive struggle. MSU's three-point percentile was even worse as they shot 23.5% from beyond the arc. The Dogs were one of the best defenses in the league, but they were out-played by this rugged Vol team on this particular evening The Bulldogs never led in the game.

The Vols didn't set the world on fire shooting from the floor themselves. The team hit 43.9% of their shots from the floor. Their three-point percentage was 33.3% for the game.

Surprise, surprise Ron Slay led Tennessee scoring with 17 points. Crump and C.J. Watson followed with 16 and 12 points each respectively.

Mario Austin was the only Bulldog in double figures in scoring with 13 points and 6 rebounds in the game. Timmy Bowers scored 8 points and Ontario Harper added 6.

Tennessee will play Vanderbilt on Saturday at 8pm EST in Nashville at Memorial Gym. The Vols will move on to play either Ole Miss or Arkansas on Thursday in New Orleans at 12pm CST. Tennessee will be the fourth seed in the East.

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