17 Mar 2019, 05:17 IST
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee’s Lamonte’ Turner picked an ideal time to snap out of his capturing hunch.
Turner sank a go-ahead 3-pointer with 30 seconds left as No. eight Tennessee rallied to beat No. Four Kentucky 82-78 in a Southeastern Convention Match semifinal thriller Saturday. Earlier than making that shot, Turner had gone eight of 52 from 3-point vary over his final 10 video games and 1 of 19 over his final 5 contests.
“Massive moments like that, man, I thrive on these moments,” Turner stated. “I at all times consider in myself. My teammates at all times consider in me. When it left my arms, I knew it was good.”
The third-seeded Volunteers (29-4) trailed by eight with lower than three minutes left earlier than rallying to advance to a championship matchup Sunday with No. 22 Auburn, the event’s fifth seed. Auburn beat Florida 65-62 within the different semifinal.
A technique or one other, this event can have an unfamiliar champion. Tennessee hasn’t gained this occasion since 1979 and Auburn earned its lone SEC Match crown in 1985. The Vols are also chasing their first NCAA Match No. 1 seed in program historical past.
Kentucky’s possibilities for a fifth straight SEC Match title vanished when Tennessee closed the sport on an 18-6 run.
“With an eight-point lead, we should always win that recreation,” Kentucky coach John Calipari stated. “They stated, ‘You are not successful the sport. We’re not giving up. We’re not stopping.’ “
Tennessee took a 75-74 lead on a Grant Williams 3-pointer from in entrance of the Vols’ bench with 1:31 left. Kentucky (27-6) went again in entrance with 1:06 remaining when PJ Washington delivered a putback of his personal miss.
Admiral Schofield missed a 3-pointer on Tennessee’s subsequent possession, however Williams acquired the rebound and referred to as timeout with 38.5 seconds left. The Vols labored the ball to Turner, who buried a 3-point try from behind the highest of the important thing.
Though Turner had been struggling as much as that time, he has a popularity for delivering clutch photographs and made a go-ahead 3-pointer within the closing minute of a victory at Kentucky final season.
“He is Lamonte’ Turner — he has ice in his veins,” Williams stated. “We now have little doubt in our minds that he is going to have the ability to take and make that shot irrespective of if he is capturing zero for 60 the following 4 weeks. I do not need that to occur, however we have now religion he’ll knock them down. We all know what kind of shooter he’s.”
After Washington missed a shot and a observe try with about 15 seconds left, Tennessee’s Jordan Bone went Four of Four from the free-throw line within the final 11 seconds to complete off Kentucky.
“We nonetheless have a much bigger event, and it is extra vital,” stated PJ Washington, who led Kentucky with 16 factors. “We have to return out, be targeted, be able to play, whoever we play.”
Schofield scored 21 factors, Williams had 20 and Bone added 18 for Tennessee. Keldon Johnson had 15 factors, Reid Travis had 11 and Ashton Hagans and Tyler Herro added 10 every for Kentucky. Hagans additionally had 12 assists.
The third Kentucky-Tennessee assembly of the season passed off roughly a three-hour drive from every campus, and about two-thirds of the Bridgestone Enviornment crowd seemed to be cheering for Kentucky as “Go Massive Blue” chants competed with the sounds of “Rocky High.” That surroundings created a a lot nearer recreation after the house workforce gained simply within the two regular-season matchups.
“Truthfully, that was one of many funnest video games I ever performed in, forwards and backwards, two groups competing at a excessive degree,” Schofield stated. “It was enjoyable for me, and I do know it was enjoyable for my teammates.”
Tennessee: Turner’s large 3-pointer is nice information for Tennessee, which wanted him to drag out of his hunch earlier than the NCAA Match. The Vols are going to want Kyle Alexander to remain out of foul hassle in the event that they need to make a deep postseason run. The senior ahead fouled out of Saturday’s recreation with 10:55 remaining. Alexander had simply two factors and three rebounds in 16 minutes. That adopted a 16-point, nine-rebound efficiency in a quarterfinal victory over Mississippi State.
Kentucky: The Wildcats found what they’ll count on from Travis amid the trials of an NCAA Match run after seeing the best way he carried out on back-to-back days. In his first motion since Feb. 19, Travis returned from a sprained proper knee in a reserve function when Kentucky beat Alabama in an SEC quarterfinal Friday. He began Saturday and performed 28 minutes.
The Tennessee-Auburn championship recreation has loads of attention-grabbing subplots.
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl coached Tennessee to NCAA Match appearances in every of his six seasons on the job earlier than getting fired in 2011 amid an NCAA investigation that put this system on probation. Auburn and Tennessee shared the SEC regular-season title final 12 months.
Tennessee’s hopes of successful back-to-back SEC regular-season championships for the primary time in class historical past vanished every week in the past when the Vols misplaced 84-80 at Auburn.
Tennessee faces Auburn in Sunday’s championship recreation.
Kentucky learns the date, location and opponent for its first NCAA Match recreation.
Comply with Steve Megargee at https://twitter.com/stevemegargee
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