Tennessee (17-13, 9-6) escaped with another victory in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night in Baton Rouge against LSU (17-12, 7-8). The Tigers jumped out to leads of as much as fifteen, but the Vols battled back in the second half behind the dominating frontcourt duo of Jeronne Maymon (14 points, 5 rebounds) and Jarnell Stokes (18 points, 7 rebounds) to notch a 74-69 overtime win.
With 1:27 remaining in overtime, Trae Golden converted a three-point play to give the Vols the momentum boost needed to complete their comeback and close out the Tigers. Golden finished with 14 points for the Vols, including nine points and a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe in the extra period.
Senior Cameron Tatum's 3-pointer with 4:37 left in overtime gave the Vols their first lead of the game, and his jumper with :34 remaining gave the Vols the lead for good. Tatum finished with nine points, four rebounds and moved into 43rd on the all-time scoring list at Tennessee with 1039 career points.
The win gives the Vols three straight victories and seven wins in its last eight games. The win also improves the Vols to 9-6 in conference play; good for a share of third place with Alabama and only one game behind Florida and Vanderbilt for second.
The general consensus is the Vols are an NIT team, but following the game, coach Cuonzo Martin made it clear in interviews that he thinks the Vols are an NCAA tournament team. If the Vols close the season with a victory and Florida loses to Kentucky Sunday, Cuonzo and the Vols will finish 2nd in the SEC and at the very least, give the selection committee something to think about.
The Vols will look to keep their NCAA tourney hopes alive and continue their winning ways Saturday against Vanderbilt (21-9, 10-5) at Thompson-Boling Arena. The tip is set for 4 p.m.