Ole Miss knocks Vols out of SEC tournament, 77-72 in OT

NCAA bid takes a hit after overtime loss

Tennessee forward Jordan McRae (52) shows his disappointment after missing a bucked attempt in the first half against Ole Miss during the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La., Friday, March 9, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee forward Jordan McRae (52) shows his disappointment after missing a bucked attempt in the first half against Ole Miss during the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La., Friday, March 9, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

UT's Cuonzo Martin on the loss to Ole Miss

UT-Ole Miss post-game Tennessee press conference

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NEW ORLEANS – Cuonzo Martin said throughout the season there would be games when the shots aren't falling.

Little did the first-year Tennessee men's basketball coach know, his team would match its worst shooting night of the season in its most pivotal game.

Seventh-seed Ole Miss (20-12) deflated the NCAA tournament bubble hopes of the second-seeded Vols (18-14), scoring a 77-72 overtime victory in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament at New Orleans Arena on Friday night.

The Rebels used a 9-0 run to pull away in overtime after Vols junior Skylar McBee banked in a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 61-61. Ole Miss' Nick Williams desperation heave from halfcourt failed to draw rim, sending the game to overtime.

UT returns to Knoxville today, awaiting a likely NIT bid Sunday night. Former UT coach Don DeVoe, who serves on the NIT selection committee, said he felt UT was "in good shape" for a bid to the secondary postseason tournament.

Both Martin and Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy suggested UT could get an NCAA tournament bid after the game, but ESPN's Joe Lunardi, who authors ESPN's "Bracketology," sent an email to the News Sentinel late Friday night saying he believes the Vols played their way out of the field.

Both Tennessee and the Rebels entered Friday's game having won four straight, and UT had won eight of nine, but neither team could get warmed up on the offensive end.

As bad as UT's shooting was — 18-of-64 (28.1 percent, matching the performance in a 69-44 loss to Kentucky on Jan. 31) — Martin was more disappointed Tennessee's defense couldn't pull the team through.

"More than anything, it was they were able to dribble penetrate to their strengths," Martin said. "Their left-handed guys were able to go left, and Jarvis Summers, their right-handed guy, was able to go right."

The Vols weren't able to go anywhere against the Rebels' 2-3 zone, which was packed in to prevent dribble penetration and deter entry passes.

"When you're not making shots, a team sticks with the zone," Martin said. "We had some looks, they just didn't fall. I didn't think we were very aggressive at attacking the rim off the dribble all night."

Trae Golden led the Vols with 21 points, Cameron Tatum and McBee each scored 15, and Jeronne Maymon scored 11 points and pulled down 17 rebounds before fouling out with 2:25 left in overtime.

The Vols' last gasp in overtime came when Jarnell Stokes hit a pair of free throws to cut lead to 74-72 with 14.5 seconds left. The Rebels struggled to inbound the ball on their ensuing possession, with UT's Josh Richardson deflecting an inbounds pass that appeared to have hit Terrance Henry before going out of bounds.

The officials ruled ball out on the Vols. Martin said he couldn't be sure of what happened until he saw a replay.

Henry proceeded to hit a pair of free throws with 11.6 seconds left to effectively ice the game. Henry led the Rebels with 19 points.

"Pretty much every possession was a fight to the end," said Tatum, who played a team-high 43 minutes. "We knew going into the game, they wanted some revenge."

UT beat Ole Miss 73-60 in the teams' first meeting on Feb. 22 in Knoxville.

McBee, who scored all 15 of his points after halftime on 5-of-11 shooting beyond the 3-point arc, said the bank shot that sent the game to overtime was a matter of survival.

"We needed three to get into overtime and ended up getting it, so we were just fighting to stay alive," McBee said. "That's what you're trying to do in the tournament setting, no matter how ugly or pretty it is."

The teams were tied 28-28 at halftime. Ole Miss was in deep foul trouble, with starters Reginald Buckner and Murphy Holloway limited to seven and eight minutes, respectively, at the half.

UT trailed much of the half starting out 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) shooting. Until Golden's floater at the 2:20 mark, Tatum was the only Vol with a field goal.

UT's rebounding kept them in the game early. UT held a 26-16 advantage on the boards, leading to 14 second-chance points.

Ole Miss plays the winner of Friday night's late game between No. 3-seed Vanderbilt (21-10) and No. 11-seed Georgia (15-16).

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Comments » 177

volaholic45 writes:

Thought it was over when Ole Miss went up by 5, making it a 12 possession game, the way we were shooting.

Had a great chance to win or put it in a second overtime, though, until one of the SEC's finest went into his own private reality. How do you miss that call right in front of you? With a bid in the balance, there's no telling just how costly that blown call may have been.

CrankE writes:

Missing the inbounds call was just the icing on the cake. Can’t tell you how many steps OM took in the second half. Time and again, they took long, leisurely strolls down the lane on the left side and not a single walk was ever called. Though UT got to the stripe plenty in the first half, they were thoroughly screwed in the remainder of the game. It is clear that UT must in all cases defeat the referees as well as any opposition. We simply get boned on every close call there is.

In spite of all that, UT should have won this game. In the second half, they stopped taking it inside, drawing the fouls and shooting the FTs. Oh by the way, had they kept pounding inside, they could have sat some of OM’s big boys down.

Sigh...The toturnament woes continue.

orange_glory writes:

we played soft and didn't get it down low or drive to the basket much. they were in early foul trouble and we didn't take advantage of it. the bad calls didn't help much.

Volborn writes:

SEC refs are the worst. Always have been, always will be.

VolMoment writes:

Good year!! We were suppose to finish 11th and finished #2 in regular season. So guys I know you wanted more but keep your heads up and be proud of what you did accomplish. Better years are ahead for this program. Thanks for the sweat and effort.

1vol4life writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get a life dude

Razor784 writes:

And the SEC tournament curse continues

TNPilgrim writes:

Bad call at the end of the game, and the ref was right there with a good angle. But even with this one-and-done in the SEC tournament this team overachieved this year. Hopefully coach Martin can recruit some decent talent to work with young Mr. Stokes in the next couple of years. Amazing what he did with this bunch of 2nd rate bench warmers.

RollAFatty writes:

in response to orange_glory:

we played soft and didn't get it down low or drive to the basket much. they were in early foul trouble and we didn't take advantage of it. the bad calls didn't help much.

Kenny Hall would have come in handy tonight.

lomas98 writes:

Disappointing loss. I credit them playing so well to get to this point, but a little too late. I still think with a win tonight, we still would not have been in. Joe lunardi is not the NCAA selection committee. Tough call at the end and it does matter. Would have been down 2 with the ball instead of fouling and down 4. Not sure how that is missed right in front of you. But, we struggled to score all night and had nothing in the paint. Ole miss was going to make us beat them with the 3. McRae had played so well down stretch and picked a bad time to not play well.

UT4prez writes:

I love Martin. He is a good coach. I'm proud of the effort this year.

Tonight I am disappointed that coach let them play like that. 5 minutes in you could see we were content jacking bad 3s. I know the players play the game and they have had stretches of poor shot selection in every game but coach never was able to get the players to correct the action. Ole Miss got lay ups and dunks. UT shot more than 30 3s. That will lead to a loss almost every time when you shoot like we do.

I'm very disappointed. However, great game Cam. Great heart by everyone. Great shot by McBee to send it to OT and good shooting by him overall. 2 impressive free throws by Stokes when both had to be made. They played very unintelligently tonight and allowed a lesser team to control the game. Nice shooting by Ole Miss on the FTs.

volhome#407234 writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It is always good to see the trolls out early. Hopefully they will be hidden back under their bridges by the time the light of day hits Tennessee. You know, actually BDV could have posted FIRST as the first troll on the board. Come to think of it, here's a bright shiny flimistanits that you can spend anywhere your opinion counts for anything, BDV. Good work.

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

tonight it was very obvious that martin cant coach,a good coach would have been able to coach Stokes past his troubles tonight.Maybe Stokes will get smart and go pro.This team has way to much talent to wind up like they have

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Stalker troll.......Bodeane, the copy cat.

You might want to pay attention to the next drubbing Florida will be experiencing, and refrain from looking stupid on this site.

We can always count on your trollish messages,
sicko.

jdogg44 writes:

Ok, I'm saying it. The Refs were on the take. Everyone saw the ball go off Ole Miss Player Henry's face with 14 seconds left. Auburn point shaving and now the SEC tourney Ref scandal. I can't ACT like "oh, these things just happen." when everyone watching in the arena AND on TV knows what the deal is.

bigorange4life writes:

Refs will get alot of blame for that awful call at the end, but we just didn't get it done in many different areas tonight.Defense was not as good as it has been,rebounding other than Maymon was bad, and shooting was horrible.Alot of easy shots around the rim just wouldn't fall. NIT not a bad consolation prize considering the way the season started and much more realistic to win there than the big dance.

jimmy59 writes:

would have been nice to have kenny hall tonight. maymon did all he could but stokes never got into the game. how many put backs can one guy miss? the blown call leaves a bad taste but the bottom line is they didn't play well enough to win.

UT4prez writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with you. SEC refs are horrible but did not cost us the game at all. We just didn't play smart and Ole Miss did. They took shots within 10 feet and we took shots from further away and we are not a great shooting team. That's pretty much it. Very frustrating.

We did get lucky on the shot. Great fight to get it to OT though. Stokes was schooled all night. And lastly, St Mary's is pretty good actually.

I know you're just trying to stir things up but some of your points have some merit. Just keep it clean and talk ball. No need to poke the hornet nest.

Ironcity writes:

This team was not ready to win this game. As good a season as Coach Martin had he had a bad day today. You never know who is going to be ready to play and for UT only two were on offense. Yes the refs could have call some of the travels and the bad call at the end of the game but UT lost that game in the first half when we missed countless wide open looks and gave the ball away over and over. This team needs someone else to help when Golden needs a rest. I don't think we scored a bucket with him out today. Also the small line up was once again an abject failure. Good learning experience for the guys. For the first time in years I will pay attention to the NIT.

CrankE writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get real, your Gators got schooled-twice by Tennessee.

Look at the bright side, you won't have to meet Tennessee again this year.

UT4prez writes:

Wow. Tons of non-Vol fans. If you want to talk basketball then let's talk. So far you are just talking smack with nothing to offer. Do any of you have something to offer? We can talk about the loss or what your teams are doing but just posting zingers is a waste of everyone's time.

bikervol writes:

in response to BodeaneVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As always, a freakin troll has to come here and screw with everybody-hey richardhead, blow it out yours!

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to doesitmatter:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

as usual like your trolling user name, you don't matter

oldbasshead writes:

With OM driving the lane like the did time and time again, why didn't coach Martin go to a zone?

VOL1972 writes:

They are always "bad calls" when you don't win.

I was on the verge of changing my view of Martin until this game. He is truly in over his head.

A zone defense (something that is obviously foreign to Martin) would have won this game. Ole Miss is simply horrible at 3 point shooting. So what does Matin do? Man to man -- ALL NIGHT!

As for the guy who says UT has no talent, how many four star players does Ole Miss have? Try not half as many as UT.

If you can't win with four stars, how are you going to win with three stars (which, with the exception of Stokes, is all Martin knows how to recruit).

I fully expect the Vols to be one and done in the NIT unless we get to play at home.

bobe4544 writes:

6 straight NCAA appearances comes to end under Martin.

AFTiger writes:

NIT bound. LOL.

bobe4544 writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And on top of that the SEC is weak this year, except Kentucky and Vandy

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

The last coach I saw not call a timeout without scoring a field goal in 8 minutes was Houston and we all know what he did to TN basketball.

lomas98 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Golden actually had only 3 turnovers compared to 4 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, 21 points and was 8-10 from the line. Not a bad line. If you could not care less about the nit, then why would you care if they made it to new york?

TopTenn writes:

Oh, just wait for next year. GBO! That is all.
NIT not too bad for a team that started the season horribly.

Orangejellybean writes:

in response to UT4prez:

Wow. Tons of non-Vol fans. If you want to talk basketball then let's talk. So far you are just talking smack with nothing to offer. Do any of you have something to offer? We can talk about the loss or what your teams are doing but just posting zingers is a waste of everyone's time.

looks like some new trolls but havent heard from a few of the usuals like scooner, yet

TopTenn writes:

in response to AFTiger:

NIT bound. LOL.

Your tigers have an NIT champ banner. LOL

One_in_West_Knox writes:

What, in part, gave Ole Miss the advantage in overtime, helped Michigan State get to Final Four two years ago, and have I mentioned on some posts?? Mid-range jump shots. If this game had been for the national title, even with that obviously blown ref call towards the end, I think the Vols could have easily won if they weren't always trying to shoot the ball down inside or near the three-point line.

If Skylar McBee comes back next year (his senior year), perhaps he may have improved on making these shots, maybe even more layups.

Ironcity writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are sp wrong on Golden. UT didn't score a point tonight when Golden sat. He is the MVP of this team. He has his short comings but for this team he really has been special. When Mcrae plays well we are hard to defend. Tonight he looked and played like a deer in headlights. A number of players stood around and didn't make plays. I thought Kennedy coached a great game for Ole miss but even with all of that its amazing we still had a chance to win.

wanted SJsut a l

bigorange4life writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I have to disagree about Golden. He does make some bonehead plays sometimes, but he made some big shots tonight when we needed them and his free throws kept us in it in the first half.Gonna be a good one before he's through.

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

in response to EightLetters:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DeVoe lost a lot of games because he was too stupid and or stubborn to run a zone when teams were eatting them up on the drive too. Just like every coach Tn has had since Ray Mears. I guess running a zone at TN is a sin.

TopTenn writes:

in response to AFTiger:

NIT bound. LOL.

Correction: memphis only championship in 100 years was the NIT.

tomkats3242 writes:

This team looks like a bunch of beach bums. They need to shave and get hair cuts. They need someone to teach them how to play ball with the big boys. They do not need to go to the dance or the nit. They need to stay home this year and learn the game. They are an embrassment to the university. It is not their fault but the truth. Mr. Hart needs to take control of the team and have then look and act like university of Tennesse folks or stay home from where ever their from. Get mad if you want but you have read the truth here but never again. I am a true orange fan waiting on changes that will never occur as its all about the money. Thankfully not mine anymore. NO MORE Donations so don't sent the emails or ask for more. You can have my tickets.

GetSimmsandTeagueout writes:

in response to TopTenn:

Your tigers have an NIT champ banner. LOL

TN doesn't even have that.

WetumpkaThumpa writes:

Don't you have to be in the tourney to get knocked out of it?

factor writes:

THIS JUST IN>>>>>>>>>One of the Ole Miss Homer referees woke up this morning and was rich beyond his wildest dreams. IN A RELATED STORY>>>>>Ole Miss player Henry wakes up with a mysterious leather burn across his forehead. He says he can't figure out why the word SPALDING is clearly spelled out across his forehead.
.....

VolsJoy writes:

in response to RollAFatty:

Kenny Hall would have come in handy tonight.

Does anyone know just what Kenny Hall did to be off the team this long????

VolFaninNiota writes:

in response to toddyboy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And the refs allowed that Summers kid carry the ball to the goal time and time again. he would tuck the ball as if it was a football and not a basketball. But a loss is a loss.

oldbasshead writes:

I like this team. I think thay have a lot of heart and have put up great effort to improve. They really came together toward the last half of the schedule. This particular group is not offensively talented enough and that has hurt them all year. Bench play tonight really hurt the Vols. McRae, Miller, Number "0" were just placeholders while starters rested and never added any offensive punch. I thought OM was going to get into foul trouble, but they had much more depth from their bench. OM was big,strong, long and fast. I was amazed that UT was able to stay with them as long as they did. Everything considered, these guys deserve our support and congratulations.

UT4prez writes:

in response to VOL1972:

They are always "bad calls" when you don't win.

I was on the verge of changing my view of Martin until this game. He is truly in over his head.

A zone defense (something that is obviously foreign to Martin) would have won this game. Ole Miss is simply horrible at 3 point shooting. So what does Matin do? Man to man -- ALL NIGHT!

As for the guy who says UT has no talent, how many four star players does Ole Miss have? Try not half as many as UT.

If you can't win with four stars, how are you going to win with three stars (which, with the exception of Stokes, is all Martin knows how to recruit).

I fully expect the Vols to be one and done in the NIT unless we get to play at home.

I pretty much disagree with everything you said. Forget tonight's game. Speaking in general terms, SEC officials are terrible.

Martin is fine. He's a good coach and will have us competitive during his tenure. I won't say he'll take us to the Final 4 or overtake UK but we will be in the upper half of the league year in and year out.

Not playing zone didn't do it. The off man can pull off his guy to help stop the drive and allow his man to shoot the jumper. We didn't do that so they were able to drive time and time again. As we saw late in the game you don't want to use your bigs to help if you can avoid it. Ole Miss will clean up the glass very time. We did a poor job of playing help d from the perimeter.

Forget the stars. You aren't overly talented if Mackenjoula ever gets anything but garbage time. And he played before Kenny went out. We're not devoid of talent but we aren't top 25 talent either. Martin brought synergy to this team and that's how they won as much as they did.

I'm done with your post. I'll have to see the matchup in the NIT.

alraguc#466367 writes:

That was about their worst display of offense all season. They shot 33% from threes but only 23% from inside the arc. Was the Ole Miss defense that caused such a pathetic shooting percentage? Towards the end of the game, the Vols gave up trying to go inside and just settled for threes.

HarryHood writes:

Great season overall. Obviously I'm disappointed with the game tonight, but we weren't even supposed to be in the postseason conversation, NIT included. CCM has given the team and fans a lot to be optimistic about for next year. Given the recent state of UT athletics, it feels really good to say that. GBO!

troken writes:

Big guys down low stunk on offense and missed too many point blank shots. Coach never made any adjustments and our offense ran the same play over and over while OM drove it down our throat! So, let's here all the homers now say Cudzu should be the SEC COY and how the refs cheated us! We weren't prepared for this game and our coaches were over their head... Unless we get a home game, we will be one and done in the NIT.

alraguc#466367 writes:

The ref blew that call but the Vols did not play good enough to deserve a win in this game. If they had won, they would have been very, very fortunate.

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