Missed opportunity for Vols, 81-65

OXFORD, Miss. - Tennessee missed an opportunity to take over sole possession of first place in the SEC Eastern Division Wednesday night.

It was a night filled with misses for the Vols: from the free throw line, the field and on the backboard.

Ole Miss (14-11, 5-6 SEC) routed UT (16-9, 7-4) by an 81-65 count in Tad Smith Coliseum before a crowd of 7,250.

Mississippi State defeated South Carolina and Florida beat Alabama in other games Wednesday, leaving the Gamecocks, Gators, Vols and Kentucky tied atop the East at 7-4.

More than 1,000 orange-and-white clad Vols’ fans left Oxford disappointed by Tennessee’s disjointed play.

No one was more disappointed than UT coach Bruce Pearl.

“It’s a mental and physical toughness that this team has lacked all season long,’’ Pearl said. “But we’re still in first place. It is what it is.’’

Wayne Chism led UT with 19 points, and Tyler Smith had 16. It was one of the Vols weaker offensive showings as they managed just 10 assists — their lowest since getting eight in an 18-point home loss to Kentucky.

Tennessee hit only 11 of 24 free throws — this, after Pearl said he was going to emphasize it this week.

The Vols shot 42 percent from the floor, but made only 6 of 24 of their 3-point attempts.

The Rebels, led by freshman point guard Terrico White’s 21 points and six assists, also out-rebounded UT 44-30. Freshman Murphy Holloway dominated from his power forward position, scoring 18 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.

“I’m at a loss for words,’’ Smith said. “We keep taking a step forward, and then taking a step back.’’

Ole Miss, the youngest team in the SEC, saw to it the Vols took a step back in the second half, opening the final 20 minutes on a 7-0 run.

Scotty Hopson’s 3-pointer at the 18-minute mark was the only points the Vols could muster until there were 14½ minutes to play. By then, UT was down 15.

Smith hit a bucket inside to make the score 50-37 and ignite a 5-0 run that pulled UT within 50-40 when Chism split a pair of free throws with 12:49.

UT missed its first five free throws of the second half before Chism’s make.

Ole Miss had the lead pumped back up to 15 at the 11:31 mark on a David Huertas three-point play that made it 55-40.

The Vols couldn’t get closer than 12 after that, even with associate head coach Tony Jones off the bench helping Pearl encourage the UT players from the sidecourt.

The frustrations ran over with 4:46 left when J.P. Prince hit the floor after being bumped by Holloway, who was driving.

Prince got up and said: “that was a foul,’’ and was assessed a technical — his fifth foul of the game.

“I didn’t think we showed poise, and we let ourselves get rattled,’’ Pearl said. “At this point of the season, there’s no excuse for it.’’

Huertas hit both technical free throws to put the Rebels up 72-56.

The rest of the game was filled with chippy play and missed free throws by both teams.

Tennessee returns to action at Kentucky on Saturday (TV: WVLT, 1 p.m.).

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Comments » 333

kantanuuv writes:

Fun evening. Enjoyed watching the "Voles" get a solid butt kicking by a bad team. So much for that RPI.

Can you say "over rated"?

bobbarbilly writes:

The thing about these guys is that they get to wear orange clothes and get great seats to the games.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

Maybe their worse overall performance of the year.

dvols writes:

when can we diss the headbands?

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

We may still make the tourney, but have to win 2 more league games. Can we do it? We look absolutely pathetic. We really need to go to a 7 man rotation if we want to improve.

I predict 9and 7 league record and NCAA seeding of 8.

dvols writes:

oh yeah! PLEASE LANE SAY SOMETHIN STUPID TOMMORROW SO WE HAVE SOMETHIN TO TALK ABOUT!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

I mean "worst" performance of the year.

tapeworm writes:

4th!
Seems like the Vols are playing like they're still in the Summer League. No discipline, no defense and a whole lot of freelancing in the paint. Streetball at its finest. Why doesn't BP clamp down?

TopTenn writes:

This team has no heart, brains or courage.

TD_4_UT writes:

Too much hype on these guys beginning of season. NIT bound!

Gilvol writes:

Where was Chism tonight? I know guys can't play there best every game, but he was not mentally there tonight at all, with bad help side defense, and he didn't box out anyone. He hurt us bad tonight!

teedub writes:

Terrible. Our free throw shooting is wretched and we got crushed on the boards

Vol_Jokes writes:

He he he ha ha ha ho ho ho
How pathetic, how sad. That was totally totally sad.
You boys ought to just close down that program. Forfeit the remainder of your games. No need to go thru that humilation time after time. You know it's going to even be worse Saturday. Isn't that one on national tv? I mean you are actually embarrassing me and i'm a memphis fan.

Tigers win by 43 points tonight. That's right 43.
Pearls the man. What a man. Good con artist huh. He really took you guys. Oh he's so much better than Cal. Cal has only established one of the top teams in the country year after year and Pearl he's.....ah..got you to the sweet 16 and he won't even be doing that this year. Never thought the season would be this good. Memphis back in contention for a title and the vols back to where they usually stay.

ATLVOL23 writes:

sloppy, sloppy, sloppy... every time I think they may be turning a corner, they do this. We got killed on the boards. How hard is it to shoot a free throw? Really?

charlesbates1#462322 writes:

in response to kantanuuv:

Fun evening. Enjoyed watching the "Voles" get a solid butt kicking by a bad team. So much for that RPI.

Can you say "over rated"?

?

cstringfield#304019 writes:

Personally, I found out all I needed to know about this team when they were spoke so flippantly about their horrible foul shouting. They are making excuses and not always trying to get better.

ATLexclusive writes:

I've watched my last game this year. Just too frustrating to watch. They will be lucky to win one more regular season game. Did we offer the kid from Memphis (White)? He wore us out......better have some shooters in the next class

kantanuuv writes:

in response to Vol_Jokes:

He he he ha ha ha ho ho ho
How pathetic, how sad. That was totally totally sad.
You boys ought to just close down that program. Forfeit the remainder of your games. No need to go thru that humilation time after time. You know it's going to even be worse Saturday. Isn't that one on national tv? I mean you are actually embarrassing me and i'm a memphis fan.

Tigers win by 43 points tonight. That's right 43.
Pearls the man. What a man. Good con artist huh. He really took you guys. Oh he's so much better than Cal. Cal has only established one of the top teams in the country year after year and Pearl he's.....ah..got you to the sweet 16 and he won't even be doing that this year. Never thought the season would be this good. Memphis back in contention for a title and the vols back to where they usually stay.

I like your style.

THANKYOU4GETTINGRIDOFTHENOTSOSLIMONE writes:

Ole Miss is missing 3 starters and they beat us by 16? I hate to say it Bruce but this one is on you.

crmcm44#321757 writes:

It's an attitude issue. They have no heart and if they get beat it's no big deal.

jhawk628#252090 writes:

Does this entire team have testicular cancer?

Seriously, it's time to cut the rotten fruit from this team. Prince needs to go, and if Chism and Williams can't quit their complaining, they should be next. They're a bad influence on the freshmen, unless the future of UT basketball is being a bunch of loser crybabies.

dvols writes:

in response to Vol_Jokes:

He he he ha ha ha ho ho ho
How pathetic, how sad. That was totally totally sad.
You boys ought to just close down that program. Forfeit the remainder of your games. No need to go thru that humilation time after time. You know it's going to even be worse Saturday. Isn't that one on national tv? I mean you are actually embarrassing me and i'm a memphis fan.

Tigers win by 43 points tonight. That's right 43.
Pearls the man. What a man. Good con artist huh. He really took you guys. Oh he's so much better than Cal. Cal has only established one of the top teams in the country year after year and Pearl he's.....ah..got you to the sweet 16 and he won't even be doing that this year. Never thought the season would be this good. Memphis back in contention for a title and the vols back to where they usually stay.

and?

PureOrange writes:

After watching another pathetic effort, I wonder why I care about what happens to this team. It is very apparent that most of the team does not care.

They got embarrassed by a total lack of effort and focus, and in the process, they embarrassed all of us.

They could have saved the university money by staying in Knoxville and phoning this one in.

louisianavol writes:

Back on the blood pressure medication after this one!

eefor10c writes:

Pearl need to make a spot for Skylar McBee from Grainger High School! Good three point shooter, probably about 80% or better from the foul line.He is on the line a lot in the fourth quarter and overall plays his best in close games. Played on Tuesday night. Had 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Should have had at least three more assists but the other players didn't finish the plays-primarily lay-ups.

volsfan92 writes:

witch doctor how do we beat ky

kantanuuv writes:

Skylar McBee? Didn't he play fiddle for Grandpa Jones on Hee Haw?

TD_4_UT writes:

Did Coach think that they could win this year without shooters? How about evaluation of talent? Maybe Peterson was better at that?

doctorvol#211700 writes:

no defense, no rebounding, and no free throws. pretty much will get you beat every time.

And I plan my evening around this? Maybe I'm the stupid one--I'll do it again Saturday afternoon.

jhawk628#252090 writes:

Who cares what a Memphis fan has to say after choking in last year's championship. That game was in the bag.

rock chalk, "Vol_Jokes"

TopTenn writes:

Bruce hasn't lit these guys up yet. Where has CBP fire gone?

volsfan92 writes:

in response to doctorvol#211700:

no defense, no rebounding, and no free throws. pretty much will get you beat every time.

And I plan my evening around this? Maybe I'm the stupid one--I'll do it again Saturday afternoon.

we are going to the ncaa tournament, but the road is tougher as an 8-9 seed than as a 5.

QDog writes:

Love UT Football and Memphis Basketball and Thats All I Gast To Say !!!

volsfan92 writes:

thank you witch doctor. bones never lie indeed

allvol11 writes:

in response to jhawk628#252090:

Does this entire team have testicular cancer?

Seriously, it's time to cut the rotten fruit from this team. Prince needs to go, and if Chism and Williams can't quit their complaining, they should be next. They're a bad influence on the freshmen, unless the future of UT basketball is being a bunch of loser crybabies.

I could not agree more. Williams has totally let this team down about the last two weeks. No effort and no defense. Prince needs to stay on his feet and quit the whining. Chism has to be more consistent for this team to be a good one. Also Hey Bruce why mess with the starting lineup?? Tabb for Maze, we were playing well. If you want to try someone let's try someone who will bring us leadership, rebounding, hustle, desire and he can hit free throws and a three pointer as well. RYAN CHILDRESS!!!!!

utucla writes:

in response to Vol_Jokes:

He he he ha ha ha ho ho ho
How pathetic, how sad. That was totally totally sad.
You boys ought to just close down that program. Forfeit the remainder of your games. No need to go thru that humilation time after time. You know it's going to even be worse Saturday. Isn't that one on national tv? I mean you are actually embarrassing me and i'm a memphis fan.

Tigers win by 43 points tonight. That's right 43.
Pearls the man. What a man. Good con artist huh. He really took you guys. Oh he's so much better than Cal. Cal has only established one of the top teams in the country year after year and Pearl he's.....ah..got you to the sweet 16 and he won't even be doing that this year. Never thought the season would be this good. Memphis back in contention for a title and the vols back to where they usually stay.

sorry...i couldn't understand a word you said....you and Cal must still be "chocking" on that national championship game.....coulda...woulda...shoulda.....lol....

kantanuuv writes:

in response to TopTenn:

Bruce hasn't lit these guys up yet. Where has CBP fire gone?

Time for Mr. Pearl to collect his big buyout from Cash Cow University and laugh his way to the Big Ten or ACC or...

GoVoLs04 writes:

Can Williams leave his feet, i really don't think he is capable of going up for a rebound or finishing a play

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey, Doc - problem is this is the best team we've had in years and probably the best team we will have for several more years. The honeymoon is over.

VolsFan3390 writes:

Terrible just terrible sure hope we can finsh strong make a run in the SEC tourny and lock at leat a 7 or 8 spot in the NCAA tourny....take it one game at a time i still have the faith
GO VOLS

Couchdummy writes:

Bruce has to feel just as I do in wondering "where to start" in fixing the problems with this team! Where do you start? The talent is there!!

b_neas writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ironcity writes:

Not enough basketball players, to many athletes. Still the dumbest team in America. Chism only wants to play on the defensive side if he is scoring. He didn't box one player out tonight and he look dumfounded when they would just go in and slam it.

One other thing is it me or am I imaginging things when it seems like its an absolute struggle for our guys to make a lay up. Even when it goes in I expect it to roll out.

NorthwestVol writes:

Sad. Shooting under 50% from the free throw line and getting out rebounded by nine. Lack of concentration and effort.

Do they not realize that the season is slipping away?

thevoice writes:

Geez, what a goose egg. The Vols play their best when they don't take a three until late in the first half. I'm beginning to think the only two consistent players on this team are Smith, although he forces WAY too many shots, and Chism. Where were Hopson, Maze, Prince? Again, AWOL.

Note to Pearl: please have each player shoot 3,000 free throws in practice each day before the game Saturday. When that's done, please read some books on how to get a team to block out, or consult Pat, or review game tape of how Ole Miss outrebounded you tonight.

dwa7#337691 writes:

dang...............what a poor game from all the Vols. Looks like we may be a NIT team this year. We won't win any more games this year!!!!!! That includes a first round drubbing in the SEC tourny. Lady Vols may still make the NCAA but......

dvols writes:

box out? free throws? like i said couple years ago. chris lofton made bruce famous... hit a few long range threes at the right time those years.. oh well. knoxville still selling 20,000 tickets a game!

Slystone writes:

Worst rebounding effort I have ever seen. This team makes two steps forward and five steps back. No defense and no rebounding killed them tonight. How does a guy miss his on free throw attempt only to rebound it back for a lay up? I stated just the other day they better check Terrico White. Young man out of Memphis Craigmont played well. You can count Saturdays game as a loss also. KY will be ready for UT.

dvols writes:

not much help on the way either! look at memphis class next year? .........but then again its college basketball, gettin as bad as college baseball!

huntined#565710 writes:

Relax guys !!! now you knew at the start of the season we would not have a great team, lost too much scoring power last year..also check it out NOBODY is winning on the road NOW... Just in a week FLA-KY-SC-LSU-TENN all lost on the ROAD..Fla win today at home..

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