Hogs fell Pearl-less Vols
Posted: Monday, January 10, 2011 5:18 pm
By: By KURT VOIGHT, AP Sports Writer
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Tony Jones did his best Bruce Pearl impression on Saturday.
Filling in for the suspended Tennessee coach, Jones looked every bit like his mentor. There was the foot stomp, the head shake after a debated call and a series of flailing arm waves throughout the Volunteers’ 68-65 loss to Arkansas.
After a traveling call early in the second half, there was even an animated pounding of the scorer’s table that left Jones wincing and shaking his hand. His real pain, however, came in watching Tennessee fall behind by as many as 13 points and lose its Southeastern Conference opener for the first time in the Pearl era.
“It hurts right now,” Jones said of his hand. “I hope I didn’t break my hand by hitting it so hard.”
Of course, Pearl wasn’t on the bench for the Volunteers (10-5) for this conference opener. Pearl is suspended for Tennessee’s first eight conference games for misleading NCAA investigators during an ongoing probe into recruiting.
Most of the emotions were on the low side for Jones, who watched as Arkansas took an early lead, led by one at halftime and trailed only briefly in the second half on the way to the win.
Tennessee briefly led 31-30 to start the second half after a dunk by Tobias Harris, who finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Afterward, Jones said he learned a lesson moving ahead to the Volunteers’ game with Florida.
“Win the next one,” he said.