Vols hit wall; Wall hits back, 73-62

Freshman explodes in final 10 1/2 minutes to help Wildcats pull away

Tennessee's J.P. Prince has the ball bounced off his head by Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe. The Vols lost to Kentucky 73-62.

Ed Reinke/Associated Press

Tennessee's J.P. Prince has the ball bounced off his head by Kentucky's Eric Bledsoe. The Vols lost to Kentucky 73-62.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Tennessee battled Kentucky even through the first 30 minutes before hitting a wall.

Wildcats freshman sensation John Wall heated up late, scoring 12 of his game-high 24 points during the final 10 1/2 minutes to lead No. 3-ranked Kentucky to a 73-62 victory over No. 12 Tennessee on Saturday night in Rupp Arena.

"I had to be more physical and start finishing better,'' Wall said. "They started giving me some lanes, so I took them.''

The Vols (18-6, 6-4 SEC) held a 52-50 lead at the 10:13 mark after J.P. Prince converted a three-point play, but Wall responded with a coast-to-coast drive that sparked a decisive 10-0 run for the Wildcats (24-1, 9-1).

"Wall was able to slice and dice whenever he really wanted to,'' Vols coach Bruce Pearl said. "He could get by his man, get in the lane and elevate.''

When it wasn't Wall, it was fellow UK freshman guard Eric Bledsoe scoring down the stretch. Bledsoe scored all 16 of his points in the second half and capped the key 10-0 spurt with a layup in transition that put the Wildcats up 60-52 at the 6:48 mark.

UT didn't get closer than four points the rest of the game.

"I was pleased with our effort, and we had good preparation,'' Pearl said. "I was disappointed in the last 10 minutes.''

Bobby Maze led the Vols with 15 points, Melvin Goins had 14, Wayne Chism 12, and Scotty Hopson scored 10.

Chism was held out of Thursday and Friday drills with a sprained ankle and didn't start. Pearl contemplated holding Chism out the second half after the Vols' center hurt his hip late in the first half.

Pearl said Hopson played at less than 100 percent, too, suffering flu-like symptoms Friday and running a fever.

Prince had nine points, eight rebounds and five assists before fouling out with 1:19 left.

"We got a lot of tough charge/block calls,'' said Prince, who was whistled for at least two charges. "They are so big, you have to take it to the rim strong. Those big guys get a lot of those cheap fouls and it adds up.

"They shot 30 free throws - that's a lot of free points.''

Kentucky was 18-of-30 from the line, while the Vols were 10-of-13.

UT's plan was to play zone with hopes of shutting down UK big men DeMarcus Cousins and Patrick Patterson. Cousins had his streak of double-doubles snapped at seven, finishing with five points and 12 rebounds, while Patterson had 10 points and seven rebounds.

"You pick your poison,'' Pearl said. "If I got a chance to get beat by Bledsoe from three (3-of-6 beyond the arc) versus Cousins-Patterson on the inside, that's the risk we took.''

Kentucky held a 30-29 lead after an evenly played first half that saw four lead changes and five ties.

The Wildcats sprinted out to a 6-0 lead, but Chism and Goins came off the bench to ignite a 12-1 Vols run.

Kentucky game back with a 13-2 run to go up 20-14 on a Cousins dunk at the 7:42 mark.

The Wildcats took their largest lead of the half a few minutes later when Wall struck for three of his nine first-half points on a trey from the corner that made it 24-16 at the 5:52 mark.

UT came back with a 10-2 run Maze capped with a trey that tied the game at 26-26 at the 2:45 mark.

The Vols return to action at 8 p.m. Wednesday against Georgia (11-12, 3-7) in Thompson-Boling Arena.

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Comments » 336

MANVOL writes:

Can someone tell me other than rap what Woolridge does well?

stevefrommemphis writes:

If the NCAA has not ordered Kentucky to forfeit this victory by 2015, I will concede defeat. Until then, I'm not conceding anything to Kentucky.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to MANVOL:

Can someone tell me other than rap what Woolridge does well?

Basketball

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

We really should consider playing Goins and Maize at the same time.

tennrich1 writes:

I know Scotty was sick but he is killing our team...He just doesnt play with ANY intensity or least not for very long and almost never plays defense...no hustle...several times,I isolated on him with his "off the ball defense"..he just doesnt play hard.....I hope he comes on and becomes what we thought he would be but if we were judgement day honest we would have to admit he really has disappointed so far...but a great effort by most of our team...

ahouseho#651452 writes:

in response to MANVOL:

Can someone tell me other than rap what Woolridge does well?

he is very good at missing shots, loafing watching the game up close, doing his hair.

cdonsbach writes:

Not a bad game. If we could have hit a bucket during Kentucky's run we would have had a chance. Loved Wayne's play; he out-hustled Cousins and did it while obviously not 100%.
On an unrelated note, the officiating in the SEC has been awful this year.

VOLKING writes:

Proud of the effort. KY just has too many weapons. Gotta get ready for the next game. This tough stretch is over but there are more important games to come. GBO!

UkJarhead writes:

Great effort by UT. UT has really blended well with all the distractions. I think they will be a tough out in the tourney.

Steve from Memphis- read the facts of the vacated final fours before you comment. He turned in Camby at UMass and Rose cheated on SAT before he came to Memphis. The schools were punished, not the coach.

Anyway, great effort and I am worried in two weeks that we may have a tough one.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to VolsFan4Ever11:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you can pretty well say all these things about each loss we have had. same ole same ole. We just played over our heads the first half and Ky was overconfident.

DebKY writes:

Chism is the heart and soul of Tennessee basketball! He will be greatly missed next year.
Love ya, Chism!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ESPN appeared to be surprised that Tennessee was keeping the game close.
We will take them down in Knoxville!

lomas98 writes:

This game reminded me of a second round NCAA tourney game between a 9 seed and 1 seed. It was close for 32 minutes and then the better team won. Good effort and great defensive gameplan. Table turned at 52-50 when TN had an awful offensive possession. KY then had a breakaway that Wall missed and the rebound went off Woolridge and KY scored after that. Scotty Hopson must step up. We really shouldn't be that concerned if Chism is down if Scotty shows his potential. If Hopson can flash that for a game or two we wouldn't be as concerned for Chism's health. Let's get on a roll during these last 6 games and try and finish 3rd in the east. I don't think it is possible to catch Vandy for 2nd when they are 2 games ahead now and already beaten us twice.

cdonsbach writes:

in response to rclarkvols#224537:

We really should consider playing Goins and Maize at the same time.

I totally agree.

Govols09 writes:

Vols played hard chism was Hurt gave his all actually made cousins look Like A freshman Gotta love the effort this team wil get the big blue at home Go big orange!

NoSirRee writes:

Better effort than I expected. I can't complain

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to VolsFan4Ever11:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You got one out of ten right coach dumbazz .

tennrich1 writes:

By the way, Kentucky is VERY beatable....and usually the ESPN stuff with D. Vitale doesnt bother me but tonight it just seemed over the top for me....They really are amping Kentucky for the viewership...oh well probably a great marketing ploy.....

huntined#565710 writes:

Not much you can say about this game as we stayed with them for 32 min and their players hit their shots. Got to move on and get ready for GA as they beat SC today. May have a shot at KY at our house. We still have a lot of ball to play..Had to cut DV off he just can't call a game,,

TSNVol writes:

I'm just wondering. Where was Maze the final 9:00 of the game. He came in with aboout 1:30 to play and scored on a layup.

Prince cost Tennessee some "mo". He was involved in so many plays that turned the ball over to the Wildcats. And also alot of fouls.

This is making me sick. How we play awesome and then coaching decisions lose it for us.

Dammmmmmm.........can't understand the coaching philosophy of Tennesse's coaching staff. Can they NOT SEE what we all see???????

orangeismydream writes:

i thought we played pretty well for the most part tell the end of the game we just got wore out and got out of our game plan slowing the game down and when we started trying to play their game is were we lost it.All the fans are getting mad but most people thought we were going to get ran out of the gym but for most of the game i believe we out played them they just out rebounded us because they had a lot more size than we did.Go Vols and we still have 25 wins in a row in football on them

westennvol writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

If the NCAA has not ordered Kentucky to forfeit this victory by 2015, I will concede defeat. Until then, I'm not conceding anything to Kentucky.

Finally....Someone who gets it!!

http://www.nesn.com/2009/12/bobby-kni...

lomas98 writes:

in response to rclarkvols#224537:

We really should consider playing Goins and Maize at the same time.

Good in theory I guess, but that would be a really small lineup. Who would play the point when one gets is foul trouble? I don't think either one would be good at coming off screens as a 2 guard.

westennvol writes:

in response to Pablopeepants:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ESPN blows in general

tennrich1 writes:

Goins looked like a point guard tonight...maybe next year he can run the team.

Vols4Braves writes:

in response to Pablopeepants:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Spot on my friend. Good words

TSNVol writes:

in response to tennrich1:

By the way, Kentucky is VERY beatable....and usually the ESPN stuff with D. Vitale doesnt bother me but tonight it just seemed over the top for me....They really are amping Kentucky for the viewership...oh well probably a great marketing ploy.....

Correct! They never mentioned the questionable calls against Tennessee either and there were many.
One almost knocked Chism out of the game on the under-cut.

That's one reason I listen to the Vol Network. I'm sick of the blah, blah, blah of ESPN!

westennvol writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Great effort by UT. UT has really blended well with all the distractions. I think they will be a tough out in the tourney.

Steve from Memphis- read the facts of the vacated final fours before you comment. He turned in Camby at UMass and Rose cheated on SAT before he came to Memphis. The schools were punished, not the coach.

Anyway, great effort and I am worried in two weeks that we may have a tough one.

How much did ya'll pay the refs this time to call the game horribly...

UkJarhead writes:

in response to westennvol:

Finally....Someone who gets it!!

http://www.nesn.com/2009/12/bobby-kni...

Yeah Wes, and Bobby Knight is a good role model. Things don't go your way, throw a chair. Use foul language at press conferences. Choke players and random students who say hi....How bout you and Steve do some research before you show your ignorance?

send writes:

hopson sucks!!

UkJarhead writes:

Do we pay refs now? Where is your link to that article? Wes, cmon now...

westennvol writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Yeah Wes, and Bobby Knight is a good role model. Things don't go your way, throw a chair. Use foul language at press conferences. Choke players and random students who say hi....How bout you and Steve do some research before you show your ignorance?

Takes an A HOLE to know a BIGGER ONE

Volfan1 writes:

Do you think ESPN will continue to mention the incident with Tyler & the other three in every game until the 2015 season?
I wish they would mention Calipari's #1 UMass & Memphis schools going on probation with as much enthusiasm. Can UK be far behind?

rockytopatl writes:

I was impressed by Pearl's gameplan. I never expected the game to be this close. I also agree with those criticizing Woolridge. I hate to blast a player, but gee whiz, how bad can you get, with a lot of it seeming to be because of of subpar or NON effort? Son, with those genes. you gotta to be giving a little bit more than we are seeing. Especially the air balls. Pass it, please!

Kudos to Chism for playing as well as he did while hurt.

Now we need to win two or three more to get to the show. It's not a given yet by any means.

UkJarhead writes:

Felonies are a little more serious Volfan....

ULTIMATEVOLUNTEER writes:

Did Hopson dress out tonight?

wags32 writes:

in response to dwolfcreek#397971:

Basketball

When????? I just watched the game you know! Airballs threes, short jumpers and yes even layups. Undecisive and lazy. So please let us know when this was be descriptive.

eduardo writes:

moral victories??? this is lame!!!! GO GET SOME BBALL PLAYERS THAT FIT YOUR SYSTEM!!!!!!!!!

VOLinGA writes:

Goins, Mays, Chism, Hopson, and Hall need to start. JP sixth man. Woolridge is not giving anything...he doesn't bang and his shots are not even close...don't even have a chance of going in. McBee needs to start showing his stroke or he is not going to contribute. Hopson just has to play harder...he has John Wall athleticism but doesn't know how to play hard and ball handling is suspect. If Hopson played as hard as McBee...you'd have a superstar. JP gives you a lot but then he gives it all back with stupid, momentum killing plays. Hall plays like a freshman....glimpses of greatness but no offensive moves or understanding of game.

Bottom line, we need more talent. KY was the better team tonight.

westennvol writes:

Since I'm on a UT message board, showing my ignorance...apparently, It wouldn't surprise me a bit if UK did pay the refs to give the game away. I have never watched a game with so many Charges that were points for us, meanwhile Cousins jumps over the back of Prince. Then later charges himself with shoulder, no call... walks....no call... and then Goins gets called for a charge at other end.... hmmmmmm. Look at the highlights..last three events occured within 25 seconds of eachother. Oh yeah, I'm ignorant and don't understand basketball at all.

westennvol writes:

in response to Volfan1:

Do you think ESPN will continue to mention the incident with Tyler & the other three in every game until the 2015 season?
I wish they would mention Calipari's #1 UMass & Memphis schools going on probation with as much enthusiasm. Can UK be far behind?

They won't ever say anything. They r in the bag for Calipari, just like Meyer and Saban in football.

ps. ESPN has ALWAYS hated UT

rockytopatl writes:

in response to Volfan1:

Do you think ESPN will continue to mention the incident with Tyler & the other three in every game until the 2015 season?
I wish they would mention Calipari's #1 UMass & Memphis schools going on probation with as much enthusiasm. Can UK be far behind?

Yes, it will be mentioned, but only for the rest of the season. Most of the nation doesn't know the story like we do.

That said, Dickie V and his whole routine makes me sick. I wish he would retire. I usually can handle national announcers and their love affair with the favorite sons, but Vitale truly sucks.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to westennvol:

Since I'm on a UT message board, showing my ignorance...apparently, It wouldn't surprise me a bit if UK did pay the refs to give the game away. I have never watched a game with so many Charges that were points for us, meanwhile Cousins jumps over the back of Prince. Then later charges himself with shoulder, no call... walks....no call... and then Goins gets called for a charge at other end.... hmmmmmm. Look at the highlights..last three events occured within 25 seconds of eachother. Oh yeah, I'm ignorant and don't understand basketball at all.

The calls were bad both ways. Refs don't get paid off any more. Show some proof. I agree it was bad, but both ways. It is ignorant to say they were paid off with no proof. Say that you saw bad calls. Cousins had 4 fouls and two of them were charges. He hardly dominated the game.

wags32 writes:

Here is the problem guys in short LOTS OF TALENT!! BUT NO BRAINS REPEAT MISTAKES DRIVE ME NUTS. IF THEY CANT LEARN HOW DO THEY GET THRU SCHOOL? AND THE GIVING UP ON A PLAY AFTER THE TEAM STEALS IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY! WOOLRIDGE TONIGHT EVEN ANNOUNCERS HAVE POINTED IT OUT.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to westennvol:

They won't ever say anything. They r in the bag for Calipari, just like Meyer and Saban in football.

ps. ESPN has ALWAYS hated UT

More nonsense from Wes. Vitale went on and on about what a great coach Pearl is. Said UT was a great program. Talked about how UT lured away big talent from Ky with the great program in Knoxville. Why and how could a whole network hate a school? All the thousands of employees and all the stations just hate a school. We have some misguided UK fans that say the same thing about us. They think ESPN favors Duke. It's just crazy talk. They are broadcasters and they chase the big story and praise the teams doing well. Period.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to VolsFan4Ever11:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Got me there.....Good one

westennvol writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

The calls were bad both ways. Refs don't get paid off any more. Show some proof. I agree it was bad, but both ways. It is ignorant to say they were paid off with no proof. Say that you saw bad calls. Cousins had 4 fouls and two of them were charges. He hardly dominated the game.

Sorry, I am very frustrated. 2nd game in a row that we have been shafted by the refs...

TDTNVOLS writes:

in response to rclarkvols#224537:

We really should consider playing Goins and Maize at the same time.

But that would mean either McBee or Pearl would have to take a seat. They are obviously contributing in ways far greater than the human eye can see.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to westennvol:

Sorry, I am very frustrated. 2nd game in a row that we have been shafted by the refs...

The refs shafted you at Vandy? Really?

75VOLinga writes:

Can someone help me out. When's the last time Tennessee had a good 7' player? They get close in size but they need the tall player that can play. Does Hopson have to keep his scholarship or can it be given to someone good. I can't tell but does Tn play better when they play zone or run with the ball? Does Woolridge have to keep his scholarship or can it go to someone good? The team comes close but I think they are missing someone tall, like over 6' 10". Think they will ever get that player?

TommyJack writes:

The first dude that ever screamed the phrase, "STFU" had almost certainly just listened to a Vitale broadcast.

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