KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Oakland finally got its upset.
Keith Benson had 26 points and 10 rebounds and t6he Golden Grizzlies beat No. 7 Tennessee 89-82 on Tuesday night, three days after losing by a point to then-No. 7 Michigan State.
The defending Summit League champion put together a tough schedule this season to prepare them to make another run at an NCAA tournament appearance. They had already been almost too much for the Spartans, Illinois and Purdue to handle before grabbing only their second win over a ranked opponent in 27 tries since joining Division I in the 1998-99 season.
It was only the second time the Volunteers have lost on their home court to a non-conference opponent in coach Bruce Pearl's six seasons. The loss came one day after Tennessee climbed into the Top 10 and grabbed the No. 1 RPI after beating then-No. 3 Pittsburgh.
The Vols held a 76-68 lead with 7:18 left, but their physical play inside drew foul after foul. Oakland (6-5) used a 13-0 run of mostly free throws and took an 81-76 lead that it would not relinquish.
Tennessee (7-1) missed four free throws and a few 3-pointers down the stretch that could have cut the lead.
Oakland shot 53.6 percent to Tennessee's 44.4 percent and outrebounded the Vols 36-35. Larry Wright finished with 19 points for the Grizzlies and hit a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left that iced the Vols. Will Hudson added 17 points and Ledrick Eackles had 12.
Brian Williams led the Vols with 18 points and 13 rebounds and Melvin Goins had 18 points. Tobias Harris added 16 points and Cameron Tatum had 13. Scotty Hopson had seven points on 1-for-7 shooting.
Both teams came out shooting well, and the lead changed hands three times and there were five ties in the first half.
The Grizzlies were shooting 70.6 percent — thanks in part to Benson's 20 first-half points — when a short jumper by Harris with 6:50 to go before halftime launched a 14-2 run by the Vols. Hopson dished the ball inside to Goins for a fast-break jumper that gave Tennessee a 43-33 lead. The Vols led 50-39 at halftime.