Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Bobby Portis posted 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 21 Arkansas in an 80-72 victory over Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament on Friday.
Michael Qualls had 20 points while Alandise Harris gave 14 points and nine rebounds for the Razorbacks (25-7), who will play Georgia in the semifinals on Saturday.
"In this new season, games are going to go down to the wire," said Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson. "There's a thin line between winning and losing. Our guys had the resiliency to finish that game off."
Josh Richardson scored 22 points with 10 rebounds and Kevin Punter added 13 points for the Volunteers (16-16), who defeated Vanderbilt on Thursday in the second round.
Arkansas led this game from start to finish as the team built a 13-0 lead in the first three minutes before Devon Baulkman got Tennessee on the board with a 3-pointer 4 1/2 minutes in.
The Razorbacks held an 11-point lead when Harris put in a layup with a free throw to kick off a 9-0 run and the team closed the half with the final six points to take a 45-25 lead into the break.
An 8-0 run from Tennessee in the second half saw the team get their deficit into single digits as Willie Carmichael's free throw made it a 57-48 game with 11 1/2 minutes to play.
"We dug the hole for ourselves, and like my team, like our team has done the entire season, there was no quit," said Tennessee head coach Donnie Tyndall. "They continued to fight and scrap."
A 3-pointer from Punter cut the Volunteers' deficit to 67-62 with under five minutes to play, and the team later got to within four, but was never able to make it a one-possession game as Arkansas hit its free throws down the stretch to hang on for the win.
Arkansas made 43.1 percent of its shots and held Tennessee to just 32.8 percent shooting ... The Volunteers dominated the glass, 43-35 ... Arkansas scored 19 points off of 13 turnovers from Tennessee.