Kansas claims NIT Tip-Off title over Tennessee, winning 87-81 in overtime

Jayhawks center Udoka Azubuike (middle) rips a rebound away from Volunteers forward Grant Williams (left). Azubuike would later foul out of the game.
Wendell Cruz

NEW YORK — Dedric Lawson had 24 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, and No. 2 Kansas rallied to beat No. 5 Tennessee 87-81 in overtime early Saturday morning in the NIT Season Tip-Off title game.

Lagerald Vick scored 15 points, with eight straight during a crucial stretch for the Jayhawks‘ comeback, and assisted on an alley-oop to Lawson that made it 78-73 with 2:39 left in overtime. Lawson was named the tournament MVP.

Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield had 21 points and six rebounds while Grant Williams had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists before fouling out. Jordan Bone added 16 points for the Volunteers (4-1).

Bone skipped back to the bench after hitting a 3-pointer to end the first half and put Tennessee up 33-31. The Volunteers led by as many as nine points in the second half before Kansas (5-0) stormed back.

Vick stuck out his tongue when he nailed a 3-pointer with 7:30 remaining to tie the game at 56. He hit another 3-pointer and a jumper to put the Jayhawks ahead 61-56 with 6:03 left.

Jayhawks big man Udoka Azubuike fouled out with 4:26 left, and Tennessee retook the lead at 62-61.

Kansas’ Charlie Moore tied the game at 69 on a pair of free throws with 1:24 remaining. It would go to overtime that way after a couple defensive stands by Tennessee in the waning seconds.ck.