PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Julian Phillips scored a season-high 25 points to help No. 22 Tennessee hold off Southern California 73-66 in overtime in Thursday’s semifinals at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The first-year forward made 7 of 13 shots and 10 of 12 free throws to go with eight rebounds for the Volunteers (4-1), with four of those free throws coming in the OT.
Santiago Vescovi overcame a rough shooting game to hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:45 left in the extra period, while Zakai Zeigler went 4 for 4 at the line in the final 23.7 seconds left of overtime to seal the win.
Tennessee won despite playing a second straight day without leading scorer Josiah-Jordan James (13.7 points per game) due to soreness in his left knee. He had an offseason procedure on that same joint, and coach Rick Barnes said he’s day-to-day.
Boogie Ellis scored 21 points in his second big output in as many days to lead the Trojans (4-2).
Tennessee: The Volunteers pulled away in the second half to beat Butler in Wednesday night’s final first-round game. This time, Tennessee won despite shooting just 3 for 18 from 3-point range, though the Volunteers made 22 of 26 free throws.
USC: The Trojans beat BYU in Wednesday’s first round behind a big performance from Ellis, who scored 21 of his 27 points after the break. But the Trojans committed 20 turnovers that the Volunteers converted into 25 points.
Tennessee: The Vols advanced to Friday’s championship game to face No. 3 Kansas, which edged Wisconsin in overtime during Thursday’s semifinals.
USC: The Trojans will face the Badgers in Friday’s third-place game.
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