Five score in double figures as Vols beat Ole Miss, 73-60

Vols erase early deficit, extend streak

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee forward Dwight Miller shoots during the first half against Ole Miss at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday. Miller scored 10 points and had 7 rebounds during the Vols' 73-60 win over Ole Miss.

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee forward Dwight Miller shoots during the first half against Ole Miss at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday. Miller scored 10 points and had 7 rebounds during the Vols' 73-60 win over Ole Miss.

Jordan McRae on his energizing dunk against Ole Miss

Ole Miss came out swinging and swishing Wednesday night, landing a figurative punch in the mouth by hitting seven of its first eight shots in racing out to a 13-point lead over Tennessee.

"It was a gut check for us,'' UT senior Cameron Tatum said. "We hadn't been down like that at home; we had to do a better job taking pride in our defense.''

The Vols (15-13, 7-6 SEC) did just that, scoring a 73-60 men's basketball victory over the Rebels (15-12, 5-8) before a crowd of 17,079 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

It was UT's sixth straight home win and its 11th in the past 12 games in Knoxville, and it kept the Vols in a tie for fourth place in the SEC.

Junior Jeronne Maymon recorded his eighth double-double with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting and 11 rebounds, as UT won its 11th straight at home over Ole Miss dating back to 1991.

As impressive as Maymon was, Jordan McRae made what could prove to be the highlight move of the season en route to his 16 points. McRae launched

himself from outside of the paint on a baseline drive, throwing down a one-handed dunk that brought the crowd to its feet during a second-half rally.

"I had my mind made up that it was going to be a dunk when I started to drive,'' said McRae, who also had four assists with no turnovers and six rebounds. "You have to take advantage of opportunities like that, and it was a great feeling, knowing we had the crowd behind us and our team was on a run.''

Trae Golden scored 11 points and had five assists, and Dwight Miller and Tatum each scored 10.

Miller was part of a unit that came off the bench and got eight consecutive stops after the Rebels jumped out to the 15-2 lead as a late-arriving crowd was finding its seats.

Miller scored seven consecutive points, including his first 3-pointer of the SEC season, as the Vols used a 19-2 run to go up 21-17 on a Maymon basket at the 6:02 mark.

Ole Miss, led by Terrance Henry's 15 points, used a 9-0 run to rally back, taking a 31-30 lead into the half.

The Vols, however, hit their first four shots of the second half, going up 39-33 on a Tatum 3-pointer at the 17:52 mark.

"I was trying to get the ball inside to Jeronne, because he had a smaller man on him,'' Tatum said. "But he told me to shoot it, and I was wide open. I just hit an open shot — something I should be doing a lot more of, anyway.''

Moments later, McRae's one-handed, monster slam sent a bolt of electricity through the building, giving the Vols a 47-37 lead and capping a 7-0 spurt that led to an Ole Miss timeout with 11:09 left.

The Rebels, losers of three in a row, didn't get closer than seven points after that.

Ole Miss entered the game leading the SEC with 38.6 rebounds per game, but UT held a 40-28 advantage on the boards Wednesday and outscored the Rebels 36-28 in the paint.

"They killed us on the glass ... finished everything at point-blank range,'' Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said. "They just dominated us block to block.''

Martin said it was by design.

"The biggest key to our game plan was we had to rebound,'' Martin said. "And we had one of our better rebounding jobs all season. We did a really good job keeping them off the glass. Sometimes they send five guys, but we boxed out.''

The other key for the Vols was avoiding the turnover bug in the second half; 10 of UT's 11 turnovers came in the opening 20 minutes.

The Vols played their third consecutive game without junior center Kenny Hall, who was suspended indefinitely on Feb. 15 for conduct detrimental to the team. There is no timetable for his return.

Tennessee returns to action at 8 p.m. Saturday at South Carolina, a team it defeated 69-57 on Feb. 8 in Knoxville.

The Gamecocks (10-17, 2-11) dropped a 59-48 decision to Vanderbilt (20-8, 9-4) on Wednesday night.

South Carolina brings a 9-7 home mark into their game with the Vols, but UT has won 10 straight in the series dating back to a loss in Columbia in 2007.

Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32

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Comments » 117

HtownVol writes:

first, someone give me a link for that nasty dunk.

second, when did Miller learn to shoot the 3?

Horrible start then a great game. McRae is becoming a great player, love his game now.

Golden needs to take care of the ball but when he attacks the team is just so much better.

great game
GO VOLS

wigmeister writes:

Good game. Enjoyable to watch, especially the second half!

hodocka writes:

Didn't see it because have Dish thus no CSS. Great win. Sounds like they dug their heels in and played hard to come back to get a big win.

volfanlostnbama writes:

CCM sure does rank much higher among coaches being graded than he was given credit for at the beginning of the season...and this is one Vol fan that is so glad he's done so well!
http://mrsec.com/2012/02/grading-the-...

atributetoLombardiwasbanned writes:

in response to hodocka:

Didn't see it because have Dish thus no CSS. Great win. Sounds like they dug their heels in and played hard to come back to get a big win.

espn3

UkJarhead writes:

Great run Vol fans. The rivalry is more fun when UT don't suck.

FearlessFreep writes:

This cements the NIT bid. Outside shot at NCAAs if they can win out and win a couple in the tourney, but not likely. Still a nice first campaign for coach Martin.

climberNeeds2workATwendys writes:

what happened???they won..again:)..jeeze..climber will complain about that button Coach Martin was wearing.

jt45 writes:

Very good recovery after a slow start, Im very impressed by Jorden McRea he has come a long way since the season started. Where has Miller been all year ? Finally a win without McBee having to score big.

Good job Vols.

rockypop writes:

Ole Miss is a tough out. They have been for everybody they've played this year. Those guys bring their lunch pails to every game. Even though UT's performance was uneven, they brought their lunch AND supper pails to the game, and eventually "Martinized" the Rebels. I'll never complain about a win. I will only hope that aspects like field goal and free throw shooting improve. But, Tennesseans should be proud tonite - the Vols beat a solid team that doesn't get the recognition they deserve.

HtownVol writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Great run Vol fans. The rivalry is more fun when UT don't suck.

Hey now, we havent "sucked since jordans best man was here.
thanks though

bvol1inSC writes:

Simply stated, strong performance tonight! GBO!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Great game! Some few problems on D...but hey just give Ole Miss the credit! Great comeback. good job Martin with the subs.

tnaseevol writes:

in response to hodocka:

Didn't see it because have Dish thus no CSS. Great win. Sounds like they dug their heels in and played hard to come back to get a big win.

I get CSS, but the game was streamlined on ESPN3 also
To find out if ESPN will carry it on ESPN3 just check ESPN's webiste

Good game after TN caught up!

GO VOLS!

RashaadSalabeb writes:

I was worried early on! The guys came through though. Never give up!

Go Big Orange!

kyvol98 writes:

We never panicked. Good to see. We could have. Maymon was great down the stretch and we had some good ball movement. Great coaching by Coach Martin. Loving him more every day!

dvols writes:

TN has a coach, get him the talent!

Nice to see adjusments made in any sport, business, life...

hmmmm

buck fama!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

McRae is becoming a beast. And his dunk was the nastiest thing I've seen in some time.

VandyisGold writes:

Good game guys!

huntined#565710 writes:

That keeps us even with LSU as they also won tonight and BAMA plays at ARK. tomorrow. We go to S.C. our next game. LSU will be at MISS. and BAMA will be at MISS. STATE their next game. Good win tonight and we must just take them one at a time.
S.C. gave VANDY a good game at VANDY tonight so they will not be a easy game for us.

cloudodust writes:

Good game. Now go out on the road and TAKE one. GBO

lomas98 writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

That keeps us even with LSU as they also won tonight and BAMA plays at ARK. tomorrow. We go to S.C. our next game. LSU will be at MISS. and BAMA will be at MISS. STATE their next game. Good win tonight and we must just take them one at a time.
S.C. gave VANDY a good game at VANDY tonight so they will not be a easy game for us.

I don't think any road game should be considered easy with this team. We have only won one. We should beat sc to set up a key game fighting for 4th with lsu. Who would have predicted that preseason? They got behind early tonight and was good to see them settle down and play their game. Maymon has turned into a quality sec player and the good cam tatum showed up tonight....unfortunately with his inconsistency we probably shouldn't expect much of him until vandy at home. It is definitely going to be a fun 10 days to close out the regular season watching these guys. Although finishing 4th would put us in the ky bracket, the extra day of rest would do wonders for this team. Root for the hogs tomorrow.

IC_Vol writes:

in response to rockypop:

Ole Miss is a tough out. They have been for everybody they've played this year. Those guys bring their lunch pails to every game. Even though UT's performance was uneven, they brought their lunch AND supper pails to the game, and eventually "Martinized" the Rebels. I'll never complain about a win. I will only hope that aspects like field goal and free throw shooting improve. But, Tennesseans should be proud tonite - the Vols beat a solid team that doesn't get the recognition they deserve.

Ole Miss plays greayt the first half of every game. Good to see UT put them away when they had the chance. Now lets take care of business on the road!

jt45 writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

ESPN3 is online.

TNVOLNTX writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Seriously? Man, I grew up in Bluff City, Tennessee and even Bluff City has the Internet. ESPN3 is an internet channel. If you're posting on GoVolsXtra, then you have ESPN3.

born2ride writes:

Are the Black Bears the worst team we have played this year?

Orangeblood13 writes:

good game

atributetoLombardiwasbanned writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"My provider is a cable TV provider"

Direct tv.

att internet.

GONAVY writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

That keeps us even with LSU as they also won tonight and BAMA plays at ARK. tomorrow. We go to S.C. our next game. LSU will be at MISS. and BAMA will be at MISS. STATE their next game. Good win tonight and we must just take them one at a time.
S.C. gave VANDY a good game at VANDY tonight so they will not be a easy game for us.

SC showed a 2-3 zone switching to a man to man and trapping on the wings. Frustrated Vanderbilt until about the 11 minute mark of the second half when they pulled away. SC is scrappy, but Vanderbilt played their worst game since losing in early December to Indiana State. UT should beat SC by 6-7 points with good defense.

GONAVY writes:

in response to rockypop:

Ole Miss is a tough out. They have been for everybody they've played this year. Those guys bring their lunch pails to every game. Even though UT's performance was uneven, they brought their lunch AND supper pails to the game, and eventually "Martinized" the Rebels. I'll never complain about a win. I will only hope that aspects like field goal and free throw shooting improve. But, Tennesseans should be proud tonite - the Vols beat a solid team that doesn't get the recognition they deserve.

Vanderbilt just beat Ole Miss in Oxford 102-76, so that is the exception to your rule I suppose. Good win for UT as it keeps them tied for 4th late in the season.

UT4prez writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The only committee we need to worry about is NIT. One poster mentioned this win locks up the NIT bid but it does not. Not even close. We stand no chance of an at large bid to the big dance. I say no chance. I suppose if we won out and made a run to the SEC championship game WITH a win over KY then there would be a slight chance. Realistically we have a shot at 3-1 and at least one win in the SEC tourney. I love the thinking on the 3 seed so I hope I'm wrong. 2 road games is a lot to ask for that shot but I'll be rooting them on just like you will.

Stooley_Dinks writes:

Look, we can all dream and we really should be pleased with not just the improvement under Coach Martin, but that this team is a very good basketball team. However, at 13 losses, the NCAA discussion needs to be realistic. If we win all 3 of our remaining games, that puts us at 18-13 with an unimpressive RPI and a Count It/Don't Count It win vs. Chaminade. If we qualify for the first round bye, at best we only get 3 SEC Tourney games. With a potential 2nd round game vs. KY, that gets iffy.

So, while it will sound negative, we realistically cannot lose but maybe 1 more game period and would need to make the SEC Championship game. I do not see that happening. But, if we feel snubbed and maybe win the NIT with a Euro tour this summer, we could be a serious contender next year. I do not see that as such a bad outcome.

Face it, we will either have to beat Kentucky, or hope someone else does to get into the NCAA's. Those 2 really ugly losses to AP and GA are going to be the difference.

John_10065 writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would like to see UK vs UT one more time on a neutral site. It's a given that UK is running on all cylinders and have improved all year but I think UT is one of the most improved teams in the SEC. (and I am not suprised with Martin at the helm)

We could take it to the Kats with an all cylinders performance. We're still an outside shot, way outside shot at the NCAA but most of these so called fans on this site thought we had no hope of being in the NIT this year.

Welcome to Mid-west style roundball Volfans courtesy of Coach Martin. After I realized who Martin was and his pedigree, I knew we had something worth keeping. Here we are talking about our seeding in the SEC dance when some of us were happy to talk about not ending up last in the conference a few short months ago.

It makes me warm inside thinking of the rest of this year and what awaits us in the next couple years. It's going to be something special if we keep this staff.

UT4prez writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oops. Fuzzy math. I was thinking 3-1 before we played tonight. Those are winnable for sure. I'm just tempering expectations based on what I've seen from this team. Don't forget we already have 13 losses. I'm giving us an extra win and you're taking a loss away. We may turn them into a NCAA team if we combine efforts. KY will be due a loss come tourney time. For any shot at an at large I still think we would have to beat them and if we get that 3 seed we wouldn't see them until the championship game so we would be in anyway if we pulled it off. The SEC tourney does not usually go according to plan and we are a team no one wants to see right now. I love that!

thevoice writes:

If SEC coach of the year means exceeding preseason expectations, I believe Martin has won it hands down.

mikeinknoxville writes:

Nice win Its good to see Miller have a productive night off the bench.

7-3 our last 10 games

We had trouble with South Carolina in the first one so we have to bring our A game to Columbia to get a win.

wigmeister writes:

Miller was awesome! Hope he gets more playing time.

UT4prez writes:

in response to doesitmatter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would be pissy too if I was up at 5:14. The only reason I was ok on my late night post was because I hadn't gotten to a deep sleep yet. It did apply to UK here and it will apply to Vandy here. They may still beat us as they are a better team but it will be a good game. AP was a tough loss. Pearl had some of those too. Chattanooga comes to mind. It happens. To be where we are in the 4th best rated conference is a testament to Coach Martin and those hard working players.

Another point for the general public. The record in the last 10 games is officially no longer considered by the committee. If it were we would have been left out last year with our terrible play down the stretch. They may look at our record with Stokes since that is a season changing event. It's like health insurance through work. You can only change it once a year unless you have a baby, get married, etc.

Last point. For no particular reason I have great disdain for the phrase just sayin'. That is not a slam on anyone as I know some use it all the time and others respond with it sarcastically. I'll live though.

Just sayin'.

BigHornBuckShot writes:

Tennessee is 14-13 as for as NIT is concerned. We have 4 games still remaining. If we split the next 4 we are in. Simple as that. The only problem is that we will be underdog in 3 of those games. We will be favorites only at S. Carolina and it will only be by about 4 points. We need the LSU win on the road to assure us a spot in the NIT. I think the boys are up to it. Go Vols!

lomas98 writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I just don't think we have a serious shot at the NCAA. If we would have beat bama and won out and made it to the finals, then maybe we have a shot. The only good win left on the board is knocking of vandy at home and then somehow beating ky. Losing to ky won't matter anyway, but beating them would be huge and who knows how the committee would view that, especially if we win out the remaining 3. It would be a lot more manageable to beat ky by not playing an extra game....ask pearls team 2 years ago.

I do agree, the 3 spot would be the most ideal, but a lot has to happen for that plus we have to win out. I honestly think vandy is a bad matchup for this team this year, but playing at home we do have a chance. Regardless, I am just excited to have the chance to discuss these scenarios instead of being southcarolina or ga like most were expecting this season.

bUTchVFL writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Great run Vol fans. The rivalry is more fun when UT don't suck.

Feel the same about UK in football.

brod writes:

i went to the game with my father. lucky enough to get seats 6 rows up on the base line. we were the loudest fans around. the only time most of the blue hairs around us cheered or stood up was during that stupid thing that some fans do when they stand up until tennessee scores their first bucket. like the first bucket of the game means so much. what a bunch of dumb a** fans. fans need to cheer for the team more as the game goes on, not during the first few possessions. aside from that, great performance by the vols. free throws weren't shot very well, but those nights happen.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That one more win will be hard to come by. LSU and Vandy are both hot and too big inside for UT, Tennessee is bad on the road so the USC game will be very tough as their seniors are down to the last home games in their careers. I predicted UT would finish out 2-5 a couple weeks ago. UT has their two wins, now I still say they finish 0-3. LSU has the easy schedule and should finish with 20 wins.

bkgunter writes:

in response to doesitmatter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You don't matter.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I don't really like to look ahead because I'm such a pessimist! BUT if we beat kentucky in the tourney therefore winning the SEC CROWN probably??? Well I don't really care much after that.LMAO

Because we'll just lose first round to Montana in NCAAs? OR even worse we lose first round in NIT to Bubba's College!!

I'm usually not pessimistic or sarcastic against our VOLs....but we can't say they've actually been consistently good. They are a young up and down team like several other SEC teams and we can't predict who will show up.
Martin's subbing last night had to motivate our starters and that's scary a bit for me.
Butterflies maybe? I hope Martin has learned what motivates this team. We were completely a different squad in the second half. Played GREAT! But if we'd been down against Vandy or Kentucky it would have been over. I'm not sure we could have come back on the remaining schedule this way. I said in an earlier post we need to bring a complete game against the good teams. With our bench play we sorta did last night. But our starters got us down. They helped us too once they woke up. It also didn't help that Ole Miss was shooting so well. But that appeared to me to be poor defense early on.
Jarnell is getting there but he was very sloppy with the ball at times. Heck I would be too with 2 bigs slappin' at me and another man reaching in!! But in case you're down Jarnell just think how much you helped Maymon. It gave him confidence even when he was doubled up. Our bigs just were awesome at times. And wow what a game for Miller!? I saw a little in him early this year and frankly wondered why he wasn't playing more. It must have been some internal team thing. One true big would really help us though next year. If Hall doesn't come back I hope we can replace with a NBA type.lol

GreeneVol writes:

in response to brod:

i went to the game with my father. lucky enough to get seats 6 rows up on the base line. we were the loudest fans around. the only time most of the blue hairs around us cheered or stood up was during that stupid thing that some fans do when they stand up until tennessee scores their first bucket. like the first bucket of the game means so much. what a bunch of dumb a** fans. fans need to cheer for the team more as the game goes on, not during the first few possessions. aside from that, great performance by the vols. free throws weren't shot very well, but those nights happen.

You probably felt like a complete idiot cheering, didn't you? I know I have. It's not going to change on its own anytime soon.

Everyone knows a good crowd furthers the program exponentially. The team feeds off of it, the fans enjoy the experience more, and as a result, more fans then come out. What can be done? Hart & Co. could start identifying the most rabid fan of each four-minute segment and give them a t-shirt or something. It wouldn't be too hard because so few are cheering right now. Put cheerleaders in the stands running up and down the stairs to get the folks fired up...I like Texas A&M's rag-waving guys dressed in white. They could give out those new caffeine AeroShots. Or if FDA won't allow that, pump lots and lots of oxygen into the arena, hyping people up like they do in those oxygen bars. I remember those teams of trampoline gymnasts that would come in during timeouts & do slam-stunts that would get the crowd fired up. Smokey riding the sled down the stairs. Get the wave going.

What other creative things could we do?

allvol32 writes:

I think it was after the 2nd Memphis game the morning crew on the Sports Animal (who I do enjoy listening to) were discussing whether or not TN would win any games the rest of this season. Couldn't be happier that they were so wrong.

Volsking writes:

in response to 10seVol85:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It was on UTsports.com

Noogaorange writes:

in response to hodocka:

Didn't see it because have Dish thus no CSS. Great win. Sounds like they dug their heels in and played hard to come back to get a big win.

Get rid of the dish! GBO

1vavolfan writes:

Had seats in Sec 119 Row 18, donor level seats. Couldn't believe that with 5 minutes to go many of the geriatric fans sitting court side were leaving. At that point it is a 8 point game. These people weren't leaving because they had to work the next day, they just didn't want the inconvenience of sitting in traffic for 10 minutes.

Stayed after the game and there were only about 50 people for the CCM show. We may be 6th in the nation in attendance but the passion is lacking.

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