NEW YORK (AP) -- Scotty Hopson scored 18 points to lead No. 24 Tennessee to a 78-68 victory over No. 7 Villanova on Friday in the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden.
Senior point guard Melvin Goins was the key late for the Volunteers (5-0), scoring seven of his nine points and coming up with two big steals in the final 2:17.
He also did an outstanding defensive job on Corey Fisher of the Wildcats (5-1), who finished with three points on 1-of-10 shooting from the field. In an 82-70 semifinal win over UCLA, Fisher had a career-high 26 points and was 14 of 15 from the free throw line. He only made it to the line once against Tennessee, going 1 of 2.
Tennessee took the lead for good on a rebound basket by Hopson with 11:52 to play. Villanova was never able to get any kind of a run going as its three-guard offense couldn't get going against the Volunteers.