Harris’ Late Minute Heroics Lift Volunteers
BY ANDRES FOCIL
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee junior Tony Harris scored 12 of his game-high 23 points and earned a pair of steals down the stretch to lift the 10th ranked Volunteers to a 73-66 win over Arkansas at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday night.
Harris hit on nine of 15 from the field including four treys while collecting six assists and four steals to lead Tennessee (23-5, 11-4 SEC) to the victory. Vincent Yarbrough pitched in 16 points while freshman Ron Slay added 13 for the Volunteers.
Razorback freshman Joe Johnson tallied a team-leading 21 points for Arkansas (14-14, 6-9 SEC) while fellow freshman Blake Eddins earned 14 points and seven rebounds. Senior Chris Walker scored 11 points and collected eight points in the losing effort.
“Tony Harris just made the plays down the stretch and we didn’t” Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson said. “I thought he (Harris) just took over the game in the last few minutes. We got tentative with the ball and made some costly turnovers. Our effort is there, we just make too many mistakes down the stretch.”
Both teams stumbled out of the gate before Tennessee finally posted an 11-6 lead with just under 14 minutes to play in the first half. Arkansas countered with treys from Johnson, Teddy Gipson and Brandon Davis to knot the game at 15-15 with 10 minutes left.
The Razorbacks rallied with a 12-3 run to take the lead by seven points with just over two minutes to play in the first stanza. Back-to-back three-pointers by Jon Higgins cut the lead to one point and a pair of free throws gave the Vols a 28-27 halftime margin.
The two squads battled back and forth in the second half with the score tied on nine separate occasions. Yarbrough hit a three-pointer with 5:22 to play to give Tennessee the lead for good at 58-55.
The Hogs cut the lead to one twice after that, but Harris made sure that the nationally ranked Volunteers would come away with the victory. Harris scored eight points and earned a key steal with one minute to play in the final five minutes to ice the victory.
Arkansas will wrap up the regular season with a home date against Auburn this Sunday at Bud Walton Arena. The Hogs and Tigers will tip things off at 1:05 p.m. in a game televised by CBS Sports.
Razorback senior Chris Walker will be playing his final regular season home game at Bud Walton Arena against the Tigers. Walker will be honored in senior ceremonies before Sunday’s contest.
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