Vols hope latest win gets NCAA attention
Posted: Thursday, March 1, 2012 7:00 pm
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Tennessee continued its late-season surge with an impressive 74-69 overtime victory against LSU in a Southeastern Conference game Wednesday night.
The Volunteers, who never led in regulation, got nine points from Trae Golden in the extra period to come away with their seventh victory in the last eight games.
That means Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin is talking NCAA tournament with one game remaining in the regular season.
“I said it when we played Florida at home the first time,” Martin said. “I said we were a NCAA tournament team at that point. I still feel like we’re a NCAA tournament team. We’ve got to do our job and do our part, but I think we’re a NCAA tournament team.”
With the come-from-behind victory against LSU, the Volunteers (17-13, 9-6) remained tied with Alabama for fourth place in the Southeastern Conference standings. Tennessee and Alabama are just one game behind Florida and Vanderbilt, who are tied for second in the standings.
Golden’s three-point play with 1:27 remaining in overtime gave the Vols the lead for good at 66-63. A basket by Johnny O’Bryant left the Tigers (17-12, 7-8) behind by one point.
But, Cameron Tatum’s field goal with 34 seconds remaining again gave Tennessee a three-point lead.
After Justin Hamilton missed a 3-point attempt on the Tigers’ next possession, Golden made six straight free throws in the final 16 seconds to clinch the Volunteers’ victory.
“It was just a great, great win for our program,” Martin said. “We did a great job of accepting the challenge, making adjustments in the second half and finishing strong in overtime.”
Tennessee took its first lead of the game when Tatum connected on a 3-pointer in the first 30 seconds of overtime. LSU tied the score at 63 as Andre Stringer made 3-of-4 foul shots on the next two possessions. There were no points scored again until Golden had his three-point play.
Published in The Messenger 3.1.12