Grant Williams scored 21 points, and No. 3 Tennessee rallied past Alabama 71-68 on Saturday for its 12th straight win, it's longest streak since 1976-77.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Grant Williams scored 21 points, and No. 3 Tennessee rallied past Alabama 71-68 on Saturday for its 12th straight win and a chance to climb atop the AP Top 25.
The Volunteers last won 12 straight in 1976-77, when they went 22-6 and earned a share of the SEC regular-season title. Williams showed why he's an All-America candidate as he made numerous big plays on both ends of the floor down the stretch, including blocking Petty's 3-point attempt in the closing minutes.
After No. 1 Duke lost to Syracuse on Monday and No. 2 Michigan fell at Wisconsin on Saturday, the Volunteers (16-1, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) could lead the poll Monday for the first time since 2008.
After winning its first four SEC games by an average of 25 points, Tennessee had a much tougher time with the Crimson Tide. John Petty matched a career high with 30 points, and Alabama (11-6, 2-3) erased a 15-point deficit to lead late in the second half. But Petty also had a critical turnover in the closing seconds.
Tennessee led 69-68 when Williams was called for an offensive foul after leaning into Alabama's Donta Hall with 11.3 seconds left. After a timeout, Alabama worked the ball to Petty, who traveled as he began his drive with 3.2 seconds left.
Lamonte' Turner made two free throws to extend Tennessee's lead to 71-68 with 2.5 seconds left. Alabama had no timeouts remaining, and the Tide's Kira Lewis Jr. wasn't even to midcourt when he launched a desperation shot that didn't come close.
Admiral Schofield had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Tennessee, and he made the basket that put the Vols ahead for good with 2:12 left. Jordan Bowden scored 12 points, and Jordan Bone added 10.
Hall had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Lewis added 12 points.