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Tennessee edges by Mississippi State, 62-59 to move on to 2018 SEC Tournament Semifinals

It got tight at the end, but the Vols finished off the Bulldogs.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Tennessee vs Mississippi State Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Tennessee Volunteers advanced to their first SEC Tournament Semifinals since 2014 on Friday, as they picked up a 62-59 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Quarterfinals.

SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year Lamonte Turner helped carry Tennessee to a win. In 30 minutes of action, Turner scored a team-high 15 points and shot 6-for-13 from the field. Grant Williams, the SEC Player of the Year, added 10 points of his own but was inefficient in doing so. While he shot 4-for-7 from the free throw line, he was a ghastly 3-for-12 from the field. Admiral Schofield didn’t fare much better, as he shot 4-for-12 from the floor.

On the whole, Tennessee finished the game shooting 33.3 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from 3-point land. It’s remarkable that they won the game at all, quite frankly.

Down the stretch, Mississippi State made things interesting. Aric Holman hit two free throws to make the score 58-53, and then Lamar Peters hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two. Schofield and Turner responded with points to push it up to 61-56, but then Peters responded with a layup and a free throw to make it 61-59. Jordan Bone made one free throw with three seconds left, but Mississippi State simply had no time to make a shot at the end.

Nick Weatherspoon suffered an extremely scary neck injury during the game. Head coach Ben Howland provided an update afterwards, stating that he was moving and was alert and would go under for a CAT scan. Hoping for the best in that situation.

For Tennessee, it can only be a good thing that they were able to pick up the win considering that they shot so poorly. They will have to bring their A-game in the semifinals against either the Florida Gators or Arkansas Razorbacks, depending on who wins Friday night’s final Quarterfinal matchup. This is likely the end of the road for State, who will probably be playing in the NIT.