Vanderbilt’s Tyrin Lawrence hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer as the Commodores upset sixth-ranked Tennessee 66-65 inside Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn., on Wednesday evening.
Lawrence’s 3-pointer came on a kick-out from Ezra Manjon, and left the shooter’s hands with 0.1 second on the clock.
The win ended the Commodores’ 11-game losing streak in the series.
Lawrence’s 19 points led all scorers, and came two games after his benching for the Commodores’ 101-44 loss at Alabama last week.
Liam Robbins scored 14 points and pulled nine rebounds for Vanderbilt (12-12, 5-6 Southeastern Conference). Jordan Wright added 12 points for the Commodores.
Tennessee (19-5, 8-3) got 14 apiece from Santiago Vescovi and Tyreke Key, along with 10 from both Julian Phillips and Olivier Nkamhoua.
Vanderbilt trailed 65-63 and had just missed a chance to go ahead with 27 seconds left when Robbins missed a look from the left block.
The Commodores — who had just two fouls at the time — fouled five times in a span of seven seconds to send Vescovi to the line with 8.0 seconds left.
Vescovi missed the front end of the one-and-one. Lawrence rebounded and, after a timeout, found the right corner of the floor and took a pass from Manjon underneath the Tennessee basket to get off the winner.
Seconds before that sequence, Phillips broke loose for what could have been a breakaway dunk. Feet from the basket, the freshman instead pulled the ball out and was fouled, later setting up the scene for Vescovi’s miss.
Vescovi did connect on a big shot, hitting his first 3-pointer of the night after a Lawrence turnover to tie the game at 58-58 with four minutes to play and snap a nearly five-minute scoreless streak.
With the game tied at 60 and 2:04 left, Tennessee fouled Colin Smith on a 3-point attempt and the freshman canned all shots to put the Commodores up three.
But Vescovi answered with a second-chance 3-pointer on Tennessee’s next possession.
After a Vanderbilt miss on the next trip, Nkamhoua answered with a 17-foot jumper with 50 seconds left.
Zakai Zeigler rebounded Robbins’ miss with 17.2 seconds left, giving Tennessee the chance to ice the game.
The Vols hit 10 of their first 17 from the floor in establishing a 23-18 lead midway through the first half.
Robbins, who had six 3-pointers all season coming in, hit his third 3-pointer of the first half to cut the Vols’ lead to two, but picked up a second personal foul with 8:01 left in the period and was benched until the last two minutes of the half.
Upon his return, Robbins drove the right baseline and rammed home a dunk over Jonas Aidoo to cut Tennessee’s lead to 34-32, which was the score at halftime.
Lawrence had a game-high 12 at the break while Robbins added 11 for Vanderbilt and Key added 10 for Tennessee.
The Vols’ Josiah-Jordan James, who missed eight games with a knee issue earlier in the year, exited the game with 17.2 seconds left on what appeared to be an injured left ankle.
Vanderbilt has won two in a row following the blowout at Alabama, while the Vols have lost two of three.
–Field Level Media