Tennessee (16-15) rallied to take the rubber match of the season series against Vanderbilt (19-13), 67-61, in the second round of the 2015 SEC Basketball Tournament.
After closing out the regular season as winners of five straight SEC games -- including an eight-point win in Knoxville over Tennessee -- Vanderbilt entered the 2015 SEC Basketball Tournament as hot as any team outside of Kentucky. At times Thursday night, it appeared that Vanderbilt would run away with the game and continue their hot streak as a tough draw for any team in the SEC tournament or the NIT.
Tennessee, however, had other ideas. After trailing by as much as 12 points in the second half, Tennessee rallied to tie the game with just over three minutes remaining, and closed the game with a 20-2 run. Tennessee was sparked by point guard Josh Richardson, who tallied 15 of his 22 points in the second half.
Robert Hubbs III added 16 points for Tennessee while Devon Baulkman chipped in 12 points off the bench.
Tennessee's front court ran into foul trouble in the first half, as forwards Armani Moore and Derek Reese each picked up three fouls. Vanderbilt center Damian Jones took advantage and scored 11-first half points. Jones totaled 20 points and 15 rebounds in the game, but in the last several minutes, Vanderbilt was unable to get the ball to Jones in the post. Jones was held scoreless in the game's last seven minutes after Vanderbilt took its 12-point lead.
Arkansas awaits the Volunteers at 7 p.m. ET on Friday evening. During the regular season, Tennessee and Arkansas split a pair of five-point games, with the home team winning both match-ups.