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Hubbs helps Tennessee outlast Tennessee Tech 74-68

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee must learn how to finish as well as it starts.

Robert Hubbs III scored 25 points and made a key block in the last minute Tuesday night as Tennessee outlasted Tennessee Tech 74-68 after leading by as many as 22 points early in the second half.

Tennessee's fast first-half performance and struggle down the stretch came two days after the Volunteers couldn't hang on to a 15-point lead in a 73-71 loss at No. 7 North Carolina.

''We've shown we can play well,'' Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said, ''but what we haven't shown is we can play a really solid 40 minutes.''

After trailing 49-27 with just under 17 minutes left, Tennessee Tech (4-8) cut Tennessee's lead to 71-67 on Courtney Alexander II's dunk with 21 seconds remaining. Tennessee went 3 of 4 on free throws in the final 18 seconds to seal the victory.

''I'm proud of how we came back,'' Tennessee Tech coach Steve Payne said. ''It could have gotten ugly.''

Before Alexander's dunk, Tennessee Tech had the ball twice in the last 90 seconds with a chance to trim a five-point deficit.

On the first possession, Kajon Mack was called for an offensive foul when he leaned into Lamonte Turner with 1:14 left. The next time Tennessee Tech had the ball, Hubbs blocked Aleksa Jugovic's 3-point attempt with 33 seconds remaining.

''I saw it all the way,'' Hubbs said. ''And then once I saw (Jugovic) slide to the corner, I just read it. I tried to steal it but couldn't get there in time, so I just played the shot and blocked it. We needed that. I had to make the play.''

Hubbs had arguably the best performance of his career against North Carolina, as the senior guard scored 21 points and shot 9 of 11. He stayed hot Tuesday by shooting 10 of 17 and pulling down seven rebounds, two off his career high.

Turner added 16 points and shot 5 of 9 from 3-point range.

But the game still was up for grabs in the last few minutes because Tennessee got stagnant. Tennessee (5-4) withstood a 6 1/2-minute stretch in which it failed to make a basket.

''In the first half, I think we were the aggressor defensively,'' Turner said. ''In the second half, they were.''

Jugovic scored 14 points for Tennessee Tech. Mack and Savonte Frazier each scored 11, and Mason Ramsey added 10.

THE TAKEAWAY

Tennessee Tech: The Golden Eagles have twice as many losses as wins, but they've shown plenty of tenacity in how they've rallied against more talented opponents. Tennessee Tech trailed Michigan State by as many as 18 on Saturday but made that game interesting down the stretch before falling 71-63. The Golden Eagles followed a similar formula Tuesday as Tennessee struggled to put the game away.

Tennessee: The Vols played virtually error-free basketball in the first half by compiling 11 assists with only one turnover. Tennessee wasn't nearly as effective the rest of the way. In the second half, the Vols had 13 turnovers with six assists.

QUOTABLE

''I thought after we dunked the ball once or twice, our guys acted like a bunch of high school guys where they thought the game was over with,'' Barnes said. ''We just started jacking some 3's up there. It doesn't take long when you're playing against a team that's well coached and that plays hard. They got comfortable and made us have to make plays at the end to win.''

KEY STATS

Turner has gone 14 of 25 from 3-point range over his last four games. While Turner was 5 of 9 on 3-pointers Tuesday, his Tennessee teammates were a combined 1 of 11.

NEXT UP

Tennessee Tech hosts Lipscomb on Saturday.

Tennessee hosts Lipscomb on Thursday.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Shembari Phillips 0.0
  Curtis Phillips missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Grant Williams 1.0
  Defensive rebound by Mason Ramsey 8.0
  Grant Williams missed 2nd of 2 free throws 8.0
+ 1 Grant Williams made 1st of 2 free throws 8.0
  Personal foul on Courtney Alexander II 8.0
  Defensive rebound by Grant Williams 8.0
  Savonte Frazier missed 2nd of 2 free throws 9.0
+ 1 Savonte Frazier made 1st of 2 free throws 9.0
  Shooting foul on Detrick Mostella 9.0
  30-second timeout called 18.0
Team Stats
Points 68 74
Field Goals 25-57 (43.9%) 26-57 (45.6%)
3-Pointers 7-21 (33.3%) 6-20 (30.0%)
Free Throws 11-16 (68.8%) 16-21 (76.2%)
Total Rebounds 31 39
Offensive 6 11
Defensive 24 27
Team 1 1
Assists 12 17
Steals 6 5
Blocks 1 6
Turnovers 12 14
Fouls 23 18
Technicals 0 0
14 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
25 PTS, 7 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo Tennessee Tech 4-8 254368
home team logo Tennessee 5-4 433174
Team Stats
away team logo Tennessee Tech 4-8 67.9 PPG 40.4 RPG 12.5 APG
home team logo Tennessee 5-4 82.0 PPG 40.4 RPG 17.9 APG
Key Players
00
A. Jugovic G PPG RPG APG FG%
00
R. Hubbs III G PPG RPG APG FG%
Top Scorers
A. Jugovic G 14 PTS 5 REB 2 AST
R. Hubbs III G 25 PTS 7 REB 1 AST
43.9 FG% 45.6
33.3 3PT FG% 30.0
68.8 FT% 76.2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Jugovic 14 5 2 4/14 2/8 4/4 4 36 1 0 2 0 5
K. Mack 11 4 1 4/11 3/5 0/0 5 27 0 0 3 0 4
M. Ramsey 10 6 1 4/10 0/0 2/5 3 32 1 0 1 2 4
H. Rogers 9 1 0 3/5 2/4 1/1 0 19 0 0 0 0 1
C. Alexander II 6 5 1 3/4 0/0 0/0 3 26 1 0 1 2 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Jugovic 14 5 2 4/14 2/8 4/4 4 36 1 0 2 0 5
K. Mack 11 4 1 4/11 3/5 0/0 5 27 0 0 3 0 4
M. Ramsey 10 6 1 4/10 0/0 2/5 3 32 1 0 1 2 4
H. Rogers 9 1 0 3/5 2/4 1/1 0 19 0 0 0 0 1
C. Alexander II 6 5 1 3/4 0/0 0/0 3 26 1 0 1 2 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Frazier 11 3 6 4/5 0/1 3/4 2 20 1 0 0 1 2
C. Phillips 3 1 0 1/6 0/3 1/2 2 12 2 0 1 0 1
M. Henry 2 2 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 8 0 0 1 1 1
J. Hawkins 2 0 1 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 4 0 0 0 0 0
M. Henderson 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 6 0 0 1 0 1
S. Adams 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 10 0 1 2 0 2
C. Hall - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Blevins - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Thomas - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 68 30 12 25/57 7/21 11/16 23 200 6 1 12 6 24
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Hubbs III 25 7 1 10/17 0/1 5/5 2 31 0 1 2 3 4
S. Phillips 9 2 5 2/5 1/1 4/5 1 29 2 0 2 0 2
J. Bowden 9 5 0 4/10 0/3 1/2 2 28 1 1 0 1 4
G. Williams 7 3 1 3/3 0/0 1/2 2 20 0 3 3 0 3
J. Fulkerson 1 5 1 0/0 0/0 1/1 3 16 1 0 1 2 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Hubbs III 25 7 1 10/17 0/1 5/5 2 31 0 1 2 3 4
S. Phillips 9 2 5 2/5 1/1 4/5 1 29 2 0 2 0 2
J. Bowden 9 5 0 4/10 0/3 1/2 2 28 1 1 0 1 4
G. Williams 7 3 1 3/3 0/0 1/2 2 20 0 3 3 0 3
J. Fulkerson 1 5 1 0/0 0/0 1/1 3 16 1 0 1 2 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
L. Turner 16 2 4 5/9 5/9 1/2 1 23 0 0 3 0 2
A. Schofield 4 4 0 1/3 0/1 2/2 1 8 0 0 1 2 2
K. Alexander 2 2 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 12 1 0 0 1 1
L. Evans 1 2 1 0/1 0/1 1/2 4 10 0 0 1 0 2
D. Mostella 0 6 3 0/5 0/3 0/0 2 18 0 1 1 2 4
K. Parker 0 0 1 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0
B. Woodson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Campbell - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bone - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Fleschman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 74 38 17 26/57 6/20 16/21 18 200 5 6 14 11 27