Tennessee freshman guard Tony Harris is quickly learning what it takes to win big ballgames.
Harris scored 21 points Saturday as the Vols upset No. 12 Arkansas 74-71.
Tennessee (16-6, 6-6 Southeastern Conference) led by as many as 24 points in the first half, then withstood a comeback to defeat Arkansas (20-6, 9-3) for the first time in two years.
"We got kind of lackadaisical at the end and they put the pressure on us," Harris said. "But we had to keep on attacking and doing what we did in the first half, and I think that made the difference."
Pat Bradley's 3-pointer with seven minutes left gave Arkansas a 62-61 lead, its first since early in the game. The lead seesawed until the Vols hit three free throws, the final two by C.J. Black, to go up 68-65 with five minutes left.
Ali Thompson's dunk with four minutes left closed the lead to 70-69, but Tennessee got free throws from Black and Aaron Green to go up 73-69.
Nick Davis' jumper pulled Arkansas within 73-71 with two minutes left, but Harris hit one of two free throws with 29 seconds to go for the final margin.
Arkansas' Tarik Wallace missed a desperation 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds left. Tennessee's Brandon Wharton rebounded, was fouled and missed both free throws, but Green stole a Razorback pass to end the game.
Black had 17 points and 11 rebounds for Tennessee.
Wallace led the Razorbacks with 20 points while Bradley had 19.
"We made some poor decisions down the stretch, but I thought we fought back hard to get into the game," Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson said. "We gave ourselves a chance to win and didn't lie down."
The Razorbacks struggled in the first half, making only four field goals in the game's first 10 minutes.
Tennessee's Rashard Lee had two 3-pointers and Harris added seven points as the Vols took a 26-10 lead.
With four minutes left in the half, the Vols led 41-17 after Wharton hit a layup. The Razorbacks outscored Tennessee 8-2 over the final three minutes and trailed 45-27 at halftime.
Arkansas was 11-of-34 from the field in the first half, four baskets coming during its run just before halftime.
A 13-3 run to open the second half pulled the Razorbacks within 48-40 with 17 minutes left after Bradley hit the second of two of his 3-pointers within a minute.
The Razorbacks also turned up the defensive pressure, switching to a trapping zone defense that led to four turnovers. They outscored the Vols 24-13 over the next 10 minutes to take a 62-61 lead on Bradley's 3-pointer.
"Good teams come back," Tennessee coach Jerry Green said. "I knew that they would have a run during the second half ... (but I) didn't know that it would be as strong as it was."
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