BATON ROUGE, La. (UT Release) - Tennessee kept its hopes for a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament alive as the Vols rallied from a 15-point deficit to win at LSU, 74-69 in overtime, on Wednesday night. Freshman Jarnell Stokes scored a career-high 18 points, making 9-of-10 from the floor. Junior Jeronne Maymon tallied 14 for his 11th game in a row in double-figures.
The Vols (17-13, 9-6 SEC) have won seven of eight games overall and remain tied for fourth place in the league with Alabama, just a game behind Florida and Vanderbilt, who are both 10-5. The Vols close the regular-season against the Commodores on Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Gators finish with No. 1 Kentucky. Tennessee beat Florida twice during the regular-season. Should Tennessee be tied with Florida, Vanderbilt and Alabama in a four-way tie the Vols would claim the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament.
Rallying from 15 down marked the largest comeback of the season.
The road win in overtime, marked the first time the Vols won a road OT game since Jan. 19, 2005 at Florida (83-76).
Trae Golden's 3-point play with 1:27 left in overtime gave the Vols a 66-63 lead. Johnny O'Bryant came back with a lay-up with 1:04 left in OT to cut the score to 66-65. Tatum's runner put the Vols up 68-65 with 34 seconds left in OT.
Hamilton launched a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left, but it came up short and Golden grabbed the rebound and made a pair of free throws for a Vols' 70-65 lead with 16.8 left in OT.
Golden made six free throws in the final 16.8 seconds to seal the win.
Tennessee kept LSU without a field goal for a span of 7:33 to end regulation until O'Bryant's basket 3:56 into overtime. (3:37 of regulation until 1:04 OT)
Cameron Tatum gave Tennessee its first lead of the game as he opened the overtime with a 3-pointer to put UT up 63-60.
The Vols battled from behind for 36 minutes to finally tie the game in the final minutes of regulation.
With 10 seconds left in regulation Maymon had his shot blocked by Hamilton in the paint. LSU had its chance to win the game but Anthony Hickey missed a runner with a second left in regulation to send the game to overtime at 60 all.
Tennessee tied the game at 60 on Maymon's free throw with 2:16 left in the second half. LSU's Johnny O'Bryant missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1:43 left as Stokes grabbed his fifth rebound of the game.
The Vols finally tied the game for the first time since 4-4 on a Stokes jumper to deadlock the game at 57 all with 3:52 left in regulation. LSU's Anthony Hickey quickly answered with a 3-pointer with 3:37 left in the second half. Maymon's jumper made it 60-59 with three minutes left.
The Tigers continued to keep the Vols at bay as UT pressed to tie the game midway through the second half. McRae's jumper with 6:20 left in the second half cut the margin to two again at 55-53.
Tennessee opened the second half scoring the first seven points to get back within four points (35-31) on a driving lay-up for a 3-point play by Tatum with 17:34 left in the second. The deficit was trimmed to two at 37-35 on a jumper by Stokes with 16:03 left in the half.
LSU led 35-24 at halftime thanks to a last-second jumper by Hamilton as time expired.
A dunk by Storm Warren followed by a John Isaac lay-up with 4:53 left in the first half put the Tigers ahead 31-16. The Vols made a late push thanks to 3-pointers by Golden and Skylar McBee as they cut the deficit to single-digits before Hamilton's last-second bucket.
Maymon and Tatum were held scoreless in the first half. McRae led the Vols with seven points. UT was outrebounded 16-8 as the Vols didn't grab an offense rebound in the half. Tennessee also did not attempt a free throw in the first half.
The Vols return home for their regular-season finale on Saturday, March 3 as Tennessee hosts Vanderbilt at 4 p.m., in an ESPN-televised game.
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