Mississippi Drops SEC Battle To Vols, 82-76
Jan 6, 2002
By ELIZABETH A. DAVIS
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Vincent Yarbrough scored 24 points and Ron Slay and Marcus Haislip added 21 apiece Sunday as Tennessee opened Southeastern Conference play with an 82-76 win over Mississippi.
The Volunteers (6-6, 1-0) led the entire game, pulling away from the Rebels in the first half by as many as 18 points.
In a physical game in which 54 fouls were called, Tennessee capitalized at the foul line.
Slay and Haislip were both 9-of-10 and Tennessee 31-of-35 in free-throw shooting. The Rebels, who came in shooting an SEC-best 77 percent, were only 18-of-29. Justin Reed and David Sanders fouled out for Ole Miss.
Ole Miss (11-3, 0-1) rallied several times, cutting the lead to two points midway through the second half. Derrick Allen's two free throws made it 58-56 with 10:21 left.
But Tennessee reeled off a 13-2 run, beginning with inside baskets by Yarbrough and Haislip off passes from Slay. Jon Higgins' two free throws gave the Vols a 71-58 lead.
Ole Miss didn't go away. Jason Harrison made a 3 to pull the Rebels within four points with 1:07 remaining. He drove to the basket and drew a foul with 10 seconds to go to cut it to 79-76.
But they couldn't stop fouling.
Yarbrough made two free throws and Higgins made three in the final 16 seconds to seal the win.
The win broke Tennessee's three-game losing streak in which they had lost in the final seconds to Louisville, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Harrison finished with 23 points and Allen scored 22, including 10-of-12
from the foul line. Aaron Harper added 11 points for Ole Miss, which saw its
seven-game winning streak snapped.
Ole Miss beat Tennessee twice last season.
Tennessee raced to a 20-5 lead in the first six minutes. Slay made a shot inside to give the Vols a 29-11 lead with 6:20 to go in the first half.
But Ole Miss had a quick 7-0 run on four free throws by Allen and a 3 by Harper to cut the lead to 11.
Tennessee's lead surged to 15 two minutes later, but the Rebels finished the half with a 17-7 run to get within five points at halftime.
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