Alabama outlasts Vols, 65-60 in overtime

Tennessee center Brian Williams goes up for a basket as Alabama forward Chris Hines and JaMychal Green defend at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011.  The Vols lost 65-60 to the Crimson Tide during overtime.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee center Brian Williams goes up for a basket as Alabama forward Chris Hines and JaMychal Green defend at Thompson-Boling Arena Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. The Vols lost 65-60 to the Crimson Tide during overtime.

UT coach Tony Jones on Alabama loss

The Tennessee-Alabama battle for SEC supremacy lived up to its heavyweight billing.

The Vols (15-8, 5-3 SEC) rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit before the Crimson Tide knocked down all 10 of its free throws in overtime for a 65-60 men's basketball victory Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

“It was a tournament-type of game,’’ UT wing Cameron Tatum said. “Going to overtime, lead changing and going back and forth, people tired and just gutting it out.’’

Alabama (15-7, 7-1) tightened its grip on the SEC West Division lead despite being held without a field goal in the final 4 minutes, 29 seconds of a game that was tied 55-55 at the end of regulation and in overtime.

It was the Vols’ final game under UT associate head coach Tony Jones, who has filled in for coach Bruce Pearl during Pearl’s eight-game SEC suspension.

UT also was without leading scorer Scotty Hopson (16.5 points per game), who remained sidelined by a sprained ankle suffered in practice last Tuesday.

The Vols were 4-of-20 shooting beyond the 3-point arc and matched their season-worst shooting effort at Charlotte (22-of-63) from the floor.

UT freshman Tobias Harris scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double, and Tatum stepped up with 16 points.

But the Vols couldn’t convert a game-winning basket after Brian Williams stole the ball from Alabama’s JaMychal Green (14 points) with 18 seconds left.

UT called timeout with 12.1 seconds left, and Jones set up a play for Harris to get the ball near the basket.

“I caught it and tried backing my man down,’’ Harris said. “The guy guarding Skylar (McBee) doubled down on me, so I kicked it back because Skylar’s our best 3-point shooter.’’

McBee, who had a team-high three steals to go with six rebounds and nine points, didn’t want to rush a shot.

“Coach Jones told us not to give them a chance to score, and I couldn’t get a look at the clock,’’ McBee said. “I didn’t want to give Alabama a chance to get into transition if I did miss, and then Melvin’s (Goins) guy came over on me so I got it to him.’’

Goins missed an open 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Williams kept the play alive with a tip, and when that attempted didn’t fall, Harris came up with the rebound. Harris, well-guarded, threw up a desperation scoop after the buzzer.

“We had it, right there,’’ said Harris, who scored at the 9:25 mark to put the Vols up 45-44, capping a 13-2 run that gave the Vols their first lead since early in the first half. “We didn’t close it out.’’

Tennessee scored first in OT on a Williams tip and got the ball back after Tony Mitchell (24 points) missed a pair of shots.

Goins misfired on a 3-pointer, and the Tide surged back with a 6-0 run.

“When we went up two and got a stop,’’ Tatum said, “that was our moment to take over the game.’’

Alabama went up 63-58 with 23.5 seconds left on a pair of Trevor Releford (13 points) free throws, sending many to the exits.

Harris threw down a dunk with 15.9 seconds left to make it a one-possession game at 63-60.

The Tide got the ball inbounded after a UT timeout and Green iced the game with a pair of free throws.

Pearl, watching on TV, said the key was Alabama taking a 38-27 lead into the half on the strength of 66.7 percent shooting.

“Alabama is a terrific defensive team, but they’re not a great offensive team, and to give them transition points and confidence early was factor,’’ Pearl said. “You’re not going to win when the other team shoots 67 percent in a half, and you’re not going to beat one of the best defensive teams in the country unless you get more balance offensively.

“We missed Scotty, for sure.’’

UT returns to action at 9 p.m. Tuesday (TV: ESPN) at No. 10 Kentucky.

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Comments » 96

dannasman writes:

Go Big Orange

VolsInYourMouth writes:

We needed this!! Needed Hopson too!!

The_Real_Orange writes:

First place in Gainesville!

johnlg00 writes:

Tough loss! I feel sorry for Josh Bone. All of us were pulling for him to state his case for a lot more playing time tonight, but he just didn't have it when we needed it. Everybody who thought we would be better off without Scotty tonight can just be quiet now.

johnlg00 writes:

Great job by the headline writer; "Albama" indeed!

TopTenn writes:

Great effort second half. Team needs to execute better. Refs were garbage. GBO! Beat the kitty kats.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Great job by the headline writer; "Albama" indeed!

Dang, John, you beat me to the headline!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, I thought they looked intimidated in the first half, shocking for this team which had shown so much more physicality lately. Whatever TJ said to them at half-time needs to be on everybody's iPod the rest of the season! I was amazed to hear that we had out-rebounded them by a fair margin, but we just couldn't get the shots to drop all night. Of course, Bama's tough defense had a lot to do with it, but we sure missed some we should have had.

KNSsports (staff) writes:

Headline has been fixed.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to UTVOLSRROCKN:

Dang, John, you beat me to the headline!

I see they finally fixed it.

DoolanderVol (Inactive) writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is probably the only time I will be pulling for your Wildcats. UK wins tonight, both of our teams benefit. and yes Bama is really good especially for a team that is at the bottom of the SEC in three point shooting.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Hate that we lost but Bama certainly is a good team.

If you'd told me in December or early January that we'd go 5-3 in the SEC during Pearl's suspension, I'd have taken it in a heartbeat.

Let's win out, BasketVols!

SEC1 writes:

in response to VolsInYourMouth:

We needed this!! Needed Hopson too!!

What? you need "dribble off the foot" hopson

bigdisbig writes:

bigdisbig writes:
Tony Jones gets this loss. Smart coaching could have easily won this game. Jamychal Green had 4 fouls with 9 minutes to go yet he won the game for the tide. Tony.....why did you not attack this guy under the basket. Tobias or Brian could have worked on him underneath and fouled him out. Were you too concerned with shooting the pathetic 3 point shots? Melvin Goins was 0 for 7!!
Terrible game even if Scotty didn't play. We could have EASILY won this game. We run down the court and throw up a 3 pointer....Bama rebounds and runs the clock. Why do the guys throw up a 3 point shot with no one to rebound?

I guess you though you were playing Charlotte all over again........
...

AlpharettaVol writes:

This is the third game this season where we had a chance to win with a shot in the last few seconds. Each time we didn't even get inside the three point line for a shot and had to settle for a desperation three pointer from 20-25 feet. If someone would drive for the basket we would at least had the possibility of drawing a foul. I'm not the coach but this seems so obvious to me. Anyone agree?

tomkats3242 writes:

The easiest shot in basketball is the foul shot. Why can't UT players make them. You don't have too be to smart but you have to practice them. How many games could they have won if they had made them? Maybe next year with a new coaching staff.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Frustrating? First, frustrating because it wasn't on television here, and then ESPN 3 gave me the "due to technical difficulties" etc, and finally had to look at game tracker.

Anyway, finally got to see it before the half. In this game, our usual downfall once again was inability to hit outside shots and free throws. The Vols have had the last look in 3 or 4 games to win them and have not been able to convert.

Give Alabama a lot of credit.........two teams slugging it out in front of 22,000. Yep, 10 for 10 at the line in crunch time will tell the tale in a game like this. We lost without Hopson...........now we need Angie for the girl's game or that will be a struggle too.

Everyone watch another big game tonight.........UK and UF.

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

Frustrating? First, frustrating because it wasn't on television here, and then ESPN 3 gave me the "due to technical difficulties" etc, and finally had to look at game tracker.

Anyway, finally got to see it before the half. In this game, our usual downfall once again was inability to hit outside shots and free throws. The Vols have had the last look in 3 or 4 games to win them and have not been able to convert.

Give Alabama a lot of credit.........two teams slugging it out in front of 22,000. Yep, 10 for 10 at the line in crunch time will tell the tale in a game like this. We lost without Hopson...........now we need Angie for the girl's game or that will be a struggle too.

Everyone watch another big game tonight.........UK and UF.

UK-FL game will be HUGE!! Should be a great game. I thought UT was going to pull this one out!!

BigVolinCarolina writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

This is the third game this season where we had a chance to win with a shot in the last few seconds. Each time we didn't even get inside the three point line for a shot and had to settle for a desperation three pointer from 20-25 feet. If someone would drive for the basket we would at least had the possibility of drawing a foul. I'm not the coach but this seems so obvious to me. Anyone agree?

Agreed and very true. We seem to be stuck in a mindset of taking a bad look/off balance/desperation 3-pointer in these moments.

I think it's even happened more than in 3 games, too...

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

Well here come the trolls, knew it wouldn't take long, so I'll say my peace and be gone.

Yes, we needed Scotty. We really turned it up in the 2nd half, great hustle and defense. Shots didn't fall and they hit their free throws. Really needed some points from Bone-0, Goins-0, Golden-2. We outrebounded them by 10. Was a great game, just hate that we lost, but do appreciate the desire and effort in the 2nd half.

Hopefully, Scotty will be back for KY, still not sure, but I think playing without him as made our team stronger, BUT....we need him back ASAP.
Go Vols and welcome CBP back with a big "W"! GBO!

SEC1 writes:

in response to bricker865:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tell her when she leave bruce pearls home bring a bbq plate.... that way we can give it to tyler bray... poor kid looks like a white ethiopian

ddayvolsfan#238252 writes:

tide basketball over rated and still sucks, I hope we get to play them in the tourney with all of our players healthy

YokeyouthVol writes:

Wildcatbasketball, I just want to say thanks for showing how classy other teams fans can be!!!! You post comments, but without the stupid nonsense like the others.

RichmondKyVol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Great job by the headline writer; "Albama" indeed!

We weren't playing Albania?
If the players were as confused as the headline writer, that could explain the loss.

eduardo writes:

Terrible point guard play by Melvin Goins..getting beat off the dribble time and time again...throwing up those 2 3s when wasnt necessary. Unfortunately we are what our record says we are and without a credible or even decent point guard play we arent going anywhere!!! You just dont settle for a 3 with time running only needing a 2 to win and with a 2 pt lead in ot with 3 min to go and with 25 sec on shot clock jack up a 3. Use your head dude!!!!

Smokey91 writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

This is the third game this season where we had a chance to win with a shot in the last few seconds. Each time we didn't even get inside the three point line for a shot and had to settle for a desperation three pointer from 20-25 feet. If someone would drive for the basket we would at least had the possibility of drawing a foul. I'm not the coach but this seems so obvious to me. Anyone agree?

what I wouldn't give for a real point guard who can penetrate, dish, and play foundamentaly sound basketball. And a clutch free throw shooter would be nice. It is a mystery to me why the Vols stuggle with the elementry parts of the game.

wildcatbasketball writes:

in response to YokeyouthVol:

Wildcatbasketball, I just want to say thanks for showing how classy other teams fans can be!!!! You post comments, but without the stupid nonsense like the others.

YokeyouthVol

THANKS for the comment.. I just enjoy SEC basketball like all others on here!! This conference will come down to to UT-UK again...But we need a big win tonight against FL to make the SEC race become interesting!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

For me, this was a very sobering game. I'm beginning to realize that we just aren't as good a team as I had hoped. If we can't beat a good team at home then we are not as talented or deep as I had thought. Williams and Fields are not a match for a truly athletic front line. As special as Harris is, he's just a freshman. Goins is very inconsistent, and Golden is just a freshman who hasn't figured it out yet. Bone and McBee are not sufficient to cover for an injured Hopson. And swiperboy and Maymon are non-contributors. I had thought this team was good enough to win a game, especially a home game, against a good team without Scotty - now I think I'm wrong about that.

Maybe Pearl can start working his magic from the bench these last 8 games. I hope so. But at this point, it looks like we'll finish with at least 10 losses, which puts us on the bubble. I'll be happy if we can get into the national tournament. If we don't, this will be known in the future as the lost season.

Futurecoach16 writes:

Great defense, great effort, but overall terrible play from the guards. 2 points on 2 of 4 shots from the foul line total from Goins, Bone, and Golden. Cannot win from an absolutely pathetic effort like that. Shows how much Hopson was missed. Hopefully that ankle will be better come Tuesday.

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to wildcatbasketball:

YokeyouthVol

THANKS for the comment.. I just enjoy SEC basketball like all others on here!! This conference will come down to to UT-UK again...But we need a big win tonight against FL to make the SEC race become interesting!!!

I agree with Yokeyouth. You have some great comments on here. And despite it making me throw up a little in my mouth, lol, I'll be pulling for the Wildcats as well. Great to see a great race for the East crown.

wigmeister writes:

When the heck are we going to recruit pure shooters. Lack of one kills us every game!

givehim6 writes:

If we could come out in the first half with a bit more juice UT would not had to fight so hard to play catch up in 2nd half. We were totaly wasted by OT.

pennvols writes:

it appears to me we need role players. someone who can dribble and shoot 3's. someone who can slash and draw fouls...and make them. someone in the paint that can be a game changer. perhaps we will recuit them and coach them properly..

everydayisorange writes:

This game was very exciting to watch! I really thought we were going to win in regulation. I was alittle disappointed with the shot selection at the end. UA has a smothering defense that will win alot of games for them. With Scotty in the lineup, the outcome might have been different. The officals missed some calls both ways, but didn't effect the outcome. In a way, this team is young and will continue to improve with players getting more and more playing time. Congrats to the tide and I hope we meet again come turney time.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

Need more from Cam

geraldodell#1377039 writes:

Once again we cant seem to finish close games. Turnovers and missed free throws were our down fall. Goins has been playing super the past 5 games but a virtual no show in this one. Looked like he was lost. Tatum turned it over several times when we could ill afford to just throw the ball away. Oh well, we have not been good at finishing tight games and this was the icing on the cake.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

This is the third game this season where we had a chance to win with a shot in the last few seconds. Each time we didn't even get inside the three point line for a shot and had to settle for a desperation three pointer from 20-25 feet. If someone would drive for the basket we would at least had the possibility of drawing a foul. I'm not the coach but this seems so obvious to me. Anyone agree?

I agree. As often as this situation has come up, and given that the Vols aren't going to blow out any good teams this year, it would seem to be a priority for the staff to come up with some better plays for these late-game situations.

wellswillie#404648 writes:

Great hustle and DEFENSE in second half guys. We missed Scotty's ballhandling and leadership ability. All this is getting us ready for a good NCAA run. Welcome back Coach Pearl.... Coach Jones proved capable but we need you!! Get Well soon Scotty!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

The easiest shot in basketball is the foul shot. Why can't UT players make them. You don't have too be to smart but you have to practice them. How many games could they have won if they had made them? Maybe next year with a new coaching staff.

It's not just the Vols, it's all of college basketball. There are very few teams that average over 70% from the line these days. It wasn't that we missed so many, it was that the ones we missed were in clutch situations. Golden, for example, was shooting over 80% on the season but he tossed two bricks when we were trying to make our come-back.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

Frustrating? First, frustrating because it wasn't on television here, and then ESPN 3 gave me the "due to technical difficulties" etc, and finally had to look at game tracker.

Anyway, finally got to see it before the half. In this game, our usual downfall once again was inability to hit outside shots and free throws. The Vols have had the last look in 3 or 4 games to win them and have not been able to convert.

Give Alabama a lot of credit.........two teams slugging it out in front of 22,000. Yep, 10 for 10 at the line in crunch time will tell the tale in a game like this. We lost without Hopson...........now we need Angie for the girl's game or that will be a struggle too.

Everyone watch another big game tonight.........UK and UF.

Somewhat to my surprise, the game WAS on in my area of central NC...UNTIL THEY CUT AWAY AT THE END OF REGULATION FOR THE START OF A DARNED CAROLINA HURRICANES HOCKEY GAME! I had to listen to the OT on the Vol Network through the UT website.

PeeEllthree writes:

in response to eduardo:

Terrible point guard play by Melvin Goins..getting beat off the dribble time and time again...throwing up those 2 3s when wasnt necessary. Unfortunately we are what our record says we are and without a credible or even decent point guard play we arent going anywhere!!! You just dont settle for a 3 with time running only needing a 2 to win and with a 2 pt lead in ot with 3 min to go and with 25 sec on shot clock jack up a 3. Use your head dude!!!!

Finally. Someone realizes what happened tonight and can speak up without being a hater. I don't hate goins, but he just had a bad game. Indecisive and bad decisions when he did decide. Didn't take charge with the ball in his hands. Bad pg play the entire night was the biggest factor in this game, including the TO's against the press in the first half. Where was the PG? Tougher road for NCAA, but we may finish a game better down the stetch by learning from tonight. They were panicky tonight. Maybe next time someone settles the team down and gets it done.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

On a positive note, I was happy to see that Tobias really does have the ability to get pizzed off. He showed some emotion on that terrible call. Mr. "ALL BUSINESS" was po'd! Get it Harris!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You just had that rotten egg primed and ready to throw! Precisely ONE post prior to yours even mentioned the refs, and even that one didn't say they cost us the game, just one factor out of several. You make me sick! I guess that is your objective, since you add nothing of value to the board.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

For me, this was a very sobering game. I'm beginning to realize that we just aren't as good a team as I had hoped. If we can't beat a good team at home then we are not as talented or deep as I had thought. Williams and Fields are not a match for a truly athletic front line. As special as Harris is, he's just a freshman. Goins is very inconsistent, and Golden is just a freshman who hasn't figured it out yet. Bone and McBee are not sufficient to cover for an injured Hopson. And swiperboy and Maymon are non-contributors. I had thought this team was good enough to win a game, especially a home game, against a good team without Scotty - now I think I'm wrong about that.

Maybe Pearl can start working his magic from the bench these last 8 games. I hope so. But at this point, it looks like we'll finish with at least 10 losses, which puts us on the bubble. I'll be happy if we can get into the national tournament. If we don't, this will be known in the future as the lost season.

Even if the Vols go 9-7 in the SEC, it won't look good if they do it by losing twice to UK and UF. We MUST beat Vandy and UGA and win at least one against those other two. We CERTAINLY can't drop one against SC or MS St. I think 10-6 in the conference will do it if we can also win AT LEAST one game in the SEC tournament. It's a shame we are in this situation, but it couldn't be otherwise, considering all the close and overtime games we've lost.

BleedsOrangeinMO writes:

This team just can't seem to win the close ones; and they've had plenty of chances to learn from their mistakes. Too bad we did not play defense the first half like we did the second half. If we have such a deep bench why aren't we using them? Swiperboy and Maymon where are they? As big as Maymon is you'd think he could play a physical game and give as much as he would take. I stated on a previous thread before the game that neither team would score 60 points; and they did not in regulation. We've shown that we can play defense and rebound why can't we do it for 40 minutes? Very disappointed. As someone above stated this is beginning to be the "lost year" with everything that is happening off the court and with the injuries. Where are these "highly ranked young players" that Pearl recruited. Golden? only 2 points.

rab63 writes:

You would think the Vols would make a higher percentage of their shots when they play at home. Maybe it's because they spend too much time practicing their shots at Pratt Pavilion. If this is true, someone needs to tell them to practice where they are going to play. It DOES make a difference. Didn't you think they looked like they wee playing an away game tonight, the way they were shooting?

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to johnlg00:

You just had that rotten egg primed and ready to throw! Precisely ONE post prior to yours even mentioned the refs, and even that one didn't say they cost us the game, just one factor out of several. You make me sick! I guess that is your objective, since you add nothing of value to the board.

John,

Re 'Claudia'.......consider the source. This is how people like this enjoy their lives..........by being a jerk.

And you're right, her inability to add anything constructive...............to anything.

RoadTrip writes:

2 good games, 1 bad game, 2 good games, 1 bad game....

20% on 3 pointers at home stinks. 35% at home from the field stinks. 60% from the FT line at home stinks. Bama having less fouls against them than us at our home stinks.

We better win two this next week or it may be NIT here we come.

murrayvol writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not so. Posted from cubicle #23 KNS headquarters Knoxville, TN.

huntined#565710 writes:

in response to AlpharettaVol:

This is the third game this season where we had a chance to win with a shot in the last few seconds. Each time we didn't even get inside the three point line for a shot and had to settle for a desperation three pointer from 20-25 feet. If someone would drive for the basket we would at least had the possibility of drawing a foul. I'm not the coach but this seems so obvious to me. Anyone agree?

I have been saying that ALL YEAR.When you have the ball with a few seconds left as we did tonight you don't throw up a 3 you drive it to the basket.may make a easy lay-up or get a foul...

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