Grant Williams stole the show as Tennessee defeated Vanderbilt to secure an 88-83 overtime victory on Wednesday night.
The junior striker finished with a career-high 43 points and 8 rebounds in 38 minutes, 10 out of 15 field players and a flawless 23 out of 23 in the free throw line. Williams' performance as a charity is the best in the history of the NCAA since Arlen Clark of Oklahoma State converted each of his 24 attempts on March 7, 1959.
Williams and Clark are the only two players in the history of college basketball to have at least 23 versus 23 on the foul line, and the former was the first Tennessee player to score at least 40 points since Allan Houston scored 43 goals against LSU in 1990..
"It's a job I've been working on since the summer and on which I knew I needed to improve," said Williams, the SEC's current-year MVP, quoted by the Good Non Profit.
"I knew the last game had missed two and I'm sorry to miss it, we do not take advantage of such opportunities, and tonight I did, and you have to take advantage of it. one, two, three of them, we lose the game. "
Williams' monster game made the world of the NCAA talk and forced him to qualify for the player title of the year.
While Duke recruit Zion Williamson is the favorite of the award, Williams has certainly done enough to be considered. The player from North Carolina has averaged 18.9 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game this season. More importantly, he displays such numbers playing for the country's number one ranked team.
Tennessee needed each of Williams' points to withstand a fiery challenge from Vanderbilt, who led 76-70 to 1:22 of the match, before Williams scored twice to bring his team back to two points and l? Admiral Schofield equalizes the score to 38.1. seconds remaining.
In overtime, Williams scored the first 10 points in Tennessee and Vanderbilt's last lead was threatened by an 82-81 lead with 41.5 seconds to go.
The Commodores fired 50 percent of the field and fired 10 shots at three but went out empty-handed. Coach Bryce Drew admitted that the loss was a hard blow to take.
"It's devastating," he said The tennessee. "Obviously (our players) wanted to win and we played pretty well to win."
This is the first Volunteer victory since they placed first in the top 25 of the Good Non Profit on Monday – this is only the second time the program has been at the top of the national rankings – and brought their 13-game winning streak.
Tennessee now has 17-1 and 6-0 against SEC opponents, while Vanderbilt has slipped to 9-9 and is 0-6 against Conference rivals SEC. The next match for the volunteers is a home game against Virginia on Saturday as Vanderbilt travels to Oklahoma.
Grant Williams, Tennessee Volunteer No. 2, is kissed by family members after the Vanderbilt Commodores game at Memorial Gym on January 23 in Nashville, Tennessee. Tennessee won 88-83 in overtime. Joe Robbins / Getty Images