KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP)Santiago Vescovi scored 17 points, including a critical 3-pointer and two big free throws in overtime, as No. 18 Tennessee pulled out a 66-60 victory over Mississippi on Wednesday night.
Olivier Nkamhoua added 13 points for the Volunteers (10-3, 1-1 Southeastern Conference), who never during regulation but outscored Ole Miss 15-9 in the extra period. Josiah-Jordan James scored 10.
Tye Fagan had 23 points to lead the Rebels (8-5, 0-1). Down five players – two injured and three in COVID-19 protocol – Mississippi started strong but couldn’t hang on.
The Rebels led 8-0 before Tennessee finally scored 7:40 into the game. The Volunteers missed their first 10 shots and opened 1 for 15 from the field. Ole Miss led by as many as 12 in the first half.
Matthew Murrell scored 17 points for Mississippi, and Nysier Brooks had 10 rebounds.
FULKERSON SETS RECORD
Tennessee super-senior John Fulkerson broke the school record for games played with 143, surpassing Wayne Chisum’s mark set from 2006-10.
Mississippi: The short-term ramifications of Ole Miss’ injury and illness problems should be minimal. But the Rebels must find a way to make up for the season-ending loss of Robert Allen (knee surgery) and overcome the lower-back issues that have caused leading scorer Jarkel Joiner (14.8 points per game) to miss time. … Eric Van Der Heijden, Grant Slaten and John McBride missed the game while in COVID-19 protocol.
Tennessee: COVID-19 impacted the Vols’ previous game, a five-point loss at Alabama, where they were without Fulkerson and freshman star Kennedy Chandler. Getting them back for this one gave Tennessee a comfort level it hopes to maintain.
Mississippi: Ole Miss will try to get healthy in a hurry in order to be at full strength against rival Mississippi State at home Saturday night.
Tennessee: The Vols have a tough game on the road Saturday when they visit No. 21 LSU.
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