Julian Phillips scored a season-high 25 points to help No. 22 Tennessee hold off USC 73-66 in overtime in Thursday’s semifinals at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The first-year forward made seven 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 overtime.
Boogie Ellis scored 21 points in his second big output in as many days to lead the Trojans (4-2). He made seven of 14 shots from the field, including three of six from three-point range.
The only other USC player in double figures was Tre White, who finished with 11 points on five-of-11 shooting from the field. Joshua Morgan contributed six points, five rebounds, four blocked shots and one steal.
Santiago Vescovi overcame a rough shooting game to make the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:45 left in the extra period, while Zakai Zeigler went made all four of his free throws 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) because of soreness in his left knee. He had an offseason procedure on that same joint, and coach Rick Barnes said he’s day-to-day.