Vols celebrate SEC title with win over Georgia
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Admiral Schofield scored 23 points to lead Tennessee’s second-half comeback Saturday as the 16th-ranked Volunteers rallied past Georgia 66-61 to win a share of the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.
The Vols (23-7, 13-5) share the SEC regular-season title with No. 14 Auburn, which defeated South Carolina 79-70 on Saturday. Because Auburn won 94-84 at Tennessee on Jan. 2 in their lone regular-season matchup, the Tigers (25-6, 13-5) get the No. 1 seed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament that starts Wednesday in St. Louis.
Tennessee is getting a share of its first league crown since 2008 after being picked to finish 13th out of 14 teams by the league’s media before the season. The Vols also won a share of the Eastern Division title in 2009.
The Vols have won four straight and 11 of their last 13. Tennessee’s latest victory ended Georgia’s five-game winning streak in this series.
It didn’t come easily.
After trailing by as many as 11 late in the first half, Tennessee pulled ahead for good at 62-61 when Jordan Bowden sank two free throws with 1:01 left.
Georgia’s Tyree Crump tried passing in the paint to SEC scoring leader Yante Maten on the Bulldogs’ next possession, but Tennessee’s Kyle Alexander stole it. Schofield then hit a jumper with 18 seconds left to make it 64-61.
William Jackson II missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds. Schofield made two free throws with 0.4 seconds left to close the scoring.
Grant Williams scored 22 points for Tennessee. Maten scored 18, Rayshaun Hammonds had 12 and Jackson had 10 for Georgia (16-14, 7-11).