Admiral Schofield sank consecutive corner 3-pointers in the final two minutes Friday, enabling second-seeded Tennessee to avoid a major upset at the hands of 15th—seeded Colgate and earn a 77-70 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio.
Schofield’s first 3-pointer with 1:34 left upped the Volunteers’ lead to 70-64, and he drained his second with 45.8 seconds on the clock to make it a nine-point game. That finally provided them the separation they needed to hold off the underdog, short-handed Raiders.
Schofield paced the balanced Tennessee attack with 19 points, while Jordan Bone hit for 16. Jordan Bowden came off the bench to pump in 14 points, and Lamonte Turner finished with 13. Leading scorer Grant Williams was held to nine points.
Jordan Burns starred in defeat for Colgate (24-11), canning 8 of 12 3-point attempts and scoring a game-high 32 points. Will Rayman and Tucker Richardson each added 10.
The Raiders’ leading scorer, junior forward Rapolas Ivanauskas, missed all four shots he took and didn’t score before leaving the game early in the second half. Suffering from a bloody nose and vision problems, Ivanauskas wasn’t able to return to the game. He averaged 16.4 points per game and was named Patriot League Player of the Year this season.
The Volunteers (30-5) will meet No. 10 Iowa, which beat Cincinnati earlier Friday, in the second round of South Region action on Sunday.
The game’s beginning offered zero hint to the dramatics it later provided. Tennessee needed exactly 2:12 to score the first nine points and led 11-2 at the 16:40 mark after Williams drilled a jumper off a Schofield pass.
Colgate made its first serious push after that, slicing the margin down to 20-18 when Jack Ferguson stroked a 3-pointer from an Ivanauskas pass. At that point, the Volunteers flexed their considerable muscles, rattling off a 16-2 run.
Williams’ jumper off a feed from Turner finished the spurt and made it 36-20 with 2:51 left in the half. Two foul shots by Schofield with 24 seconds remaining enabled Tennessee to head to the locker room with a 42-30 advantage.
—Field Level Media