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Ellis, Alexander lift Kansas over Tennessee 82-67

November 29, 2014

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Perry Ellis and Cliff Alexander helped Kansas pull away late in a victory over Tennessee.

Ellis scored 24 points, Cliff Alexander added 16 and No. 11 Kansas beat Tennessee 82-67 Friday in an Orlando Classic semifinal.

“The big thing is we got stops,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.

Frank Mason III had 11 points and seven assists for Kansas (4-1).

Tennessee (2-2) got 16 points from Josh Richardson, while Kevin Punter finished with 14.

After Tennessee’s Armani Moore tied it with two free throws, Alexander’s 3-point play keyed a 7-0 stretch as Kansas went ahead 69-62 with five minutes left.

“He’s starting to get it,” Self said of Alexander.

Ellis’ 3-point play made it 74-64 with two minutes to go.

“They’re tough,” Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall said of Kansas. “They’re talented. They’re well coached. They have great depth.”

Alexander had consecutive dunks to give Kansas a 53-40 lead 4 minutes into the second half. Mason set up both with nifty passes.

The Volunteers, as they had throughout the game, battled back to 54-53 with 12 minutes to play as Detrick Mostella made a pair of 3s and Richardson had a layup following a Kansas turnover.

“We took some positives out of the game, but we’re disappointed we didn’t win the game,” Tyndall said.

Mostella had 13 points.

Dominic Woodson had two in-close baskets for Tennessee, while Kansas’ Brannen Greene connected on a long-range jumper just before the shot clock expired as the Jayhawks kept a narrow lead through the midpoint of the second half.

Perry had 11 points to help Kansas grab a 40-33 halftime lead.

A wild final few minutes saw Tennessee pull to 35-31 after Punter made a layup and two free throws after a flagrant foul call. Richardson had a basket on the ensuing possession.

“They got out to some runs, but I’m happy that we stayed composed,” Ellis said. “We fought back after those runs and I felt like that’s what we needed.”

Kansas responded by getting a 3 by Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonte Graham’s slam.

Graham, coming back from a shoulder injury, had two points and one rebound in seven minutes.

TIP-INS

Kansas: The Jayhawks reached the semifinals by beating Rhode Island 76-60 Thursday. ... Kansas is 34-6 in in-season tournament games under Self. ... The Jayhawks are 4-1 or better for the 10th time in Self’s 12 years at the school.

Tennessee: The Volunteers topped Santa Clara 64-57 in their tourney opener Thursday. ... Tennessee was called for 28 fouls. The Volunteers entered averaging 26.3, second-most in the country.

CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARDS

Kansas outrebounded Tennessee 44-22 and had 18 on the offensive end. ... Ellis had 13 of the Jayhawks’ rebounds.

BALL CONTROL

The Jayhawks won the assist battle 17-8 but turned the ball over 16 times. Tennessee had 10 turnovers.

UP NEXT

Kansas will face No. 20 Michigan State in Sunday’s championship game.

Tennessee will play Marquette in Sunday’s third-place game.

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