Tennessee 74, Arkansas 68

Freshman Tobias Harris scored 20 points and Tennessee recovered

after blowing a 16-point lead to beat Arkansas 74-68 on Thursday

night in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference


Tennessee (19-13) bolstered its NCAA tournament case after

losing six of its last nine games in the regular season.

The Vols led by 16 at 68-52 before Arkansas (18-13) made things

interesting with a 16-0 run to pull even at 68-68 with 2:08


Brian Williams scored for Tennessee with 54 seconds remaining to

end the Razorbacks’ run. The Vols then forced a turnover by

Julysses Nobles, and Harris hit two free throws after he was fouled

by Nobles.

Rotnei Clarke had 18 points for Arkansas.

Delvon Johnson had 15 points and eight rebounds for


Melvin Goins had 12 points for the Vols, including two free

throws in the final seconds to ice the game.

The Vols’ NCAA tournament hopes may have been on the line, but

they focused on revenge as their motivation.

”We owe them one!” Tennessee players yelled during their

on-court huddle in the final seconds before the game.

The Razorbacks opened their SEC schedule with a 68-65 home win

over Tennessee on Jan. 8. Vols coach Bruce Pearl was serving an

eight-game SEC suspension for lying to investigators in an NCAA


Each team had players return after missing the last two games of

the regular season with injuries.

Williams, a 6-foot-10 senior and Tennessee’s leading rebounder

who had been out with a sore back, had nine points and eight

rebounds. He made his first 3-pointer of the season.

Arkansas junior guard Jeff Peterson, who suffered a groin injury

in a win at Auburn on Feb. 26, played only seven minutes and missed

his only two shots.

Williams left with 4:15 remaining after he was poked in his

right eye. He returned with 1:10 remaining and scored 16 seconds

later to end the Razorbacks’ 16-0 run.

Mardracus Wade’s fast-break basket about 5 minutes into the game

gave Arkansas a 12-8 lead. The Razorbacks then went about 7 minutes

without another field goal before Wade’s 3-pointer with 8:10


Even with the long field-goal drought, Arkansas stayed close,

trailing only 25-23 after two free throws by Michael Sanchez with

5:25 remaining in the half. Then Tennessee launched a 12-0 run to

stretch its lead. Harris had seven points in the run that ended

with Johnson’s basket for Arkansas with only seconds remaining in

the half.

Harris had 16 points in the half.