When Temple came to Tennessee 35 years ago this week, what happened was one of the more bizarre memories of the Ray Mears Era.
After 40 minutes, the Vols walked off the floor at Stokely Athletics Center an 11-6 winner in the lowest-scoring game of the modern era in college basketball.
The date was Dec. 15, 1973, the championship of the Volunteer Classic tournament. Temple coach Don Casey didn’t want to run with the Vols and had his Owls hold the ball for 32 of the 40 minutes.
Mears refused to budge from his zone defense so virtually nothing happened. Freshman Ernie Grunfeld scored to break a 5-5 tie with 12:44 left in the first half and Temple stalled until the break.
The second half passed without a field goal by either team. John Snow hit a technical free throw to make it 8-5 with 17:58 to play and the Owls went back into the deep freeze. Snow hit three more foul shots in the final seconds.
The 1973-74 Vols finished 17-9. The shot clock wasn’t introduced to the college game until 1985.