Much like in the first SEC Tournament semifinal between Alabama and Kentucky, the extra off day Tennessee had proved to be the difference against Arkansas on Saturday afternoon in St. Louis.
The Vols came out hot, taking a 48-29 lead at halftime and continuing their lights-out shooting in the second half en route to an 84-66 victory. Tennessee shot 57.1 percent from the field and knocked down 64.7 percent of its three-point attempts.
Arkansas, which was playing its third game in as many days, looked sluggish, though that had as much to do with Tennessee’s stifling defense as it did with fatigue. The Vols used that combination to cruise to a victory, setting up a showdown with Kentucky in Sunday afternoon’s final.
Sophomore G Jordan Bone scored 19 points in the victory, tying his season high, and also dished out four assists and grabbed two rebounds. Junior F Admiral Schofield added 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Daryl Macon scored 19 points for Arkansas, with Jaylen Barford adding 14, but it wasn’t enough for the Hogs, as they came up short of a title-game appearance.
Now, the Vols and Wildcats will battle for the tourney title on Sunday. The Vols have won both matchups so far this year, so it should be a good matchup. The game tips off at 1 p.m. Eastern time and can be seen on ESPN.