Vols battle back to best Vandy
Posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 4:43 pm
By: By BETH RUCKER, AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — After two losses and a miserable first half against Vanderbilt, Tennessee associate head coach Tony Jones had seen enough.
“You’re a talented basketball team with talented players, and you’re coming up short. Enough is enough,” Jones told the Volunteers at halftime. “I had a few choice words for them. They responded. They came out and played Tennessee basketball.”
After trailing by 17 points with 2:03 left in the first half, the Vols got some defensive stops and found some offensive life to pull out a 67-64 win against Vanderbilt on Saturday.
It was Jones’ first win while filling in for coach Bruce Pearl as he serves an eight-game suspension from Southeastern Conference play for lying to NCAA investigators during an ongoing probe into recruiting. The victory also kept Tennessee from its first three-game losing skid in conference play during Pearl’s tenure.
Tennessee (11-6, 1-2) started its comeback a little earlier, drawing some life from a modest 7-0 run to close out the first half. In the last 1:32, Tobias Harris got a fast-break jumper, Brian Williams hit a layup and Skylar McBee sank all of his free throws after being fouled by Festus Ezeli while shooting behind the arc.
Tennessee finished with 16 points off 21 Vanderbilt turnovers and 21 second-chance points after trailing the Commodores in both categories at halftime.
Cameron Tatum hit a 3-pointer with 3:03 to go gave the Vols their first lead of the second half, and Tobias Harris hit the go-ahead layup with 1:09 left.
Harris finished with 15 points, Tatum had 12 and Skylar McBee had 10.
In the women’s game on Saturday, Even when they get lazy, the Tennessee Lady Volunteers can still win by a solid margin.
The fifth-ranked Lady Vols took some bad shots, turned the ball over and didn’t fight as hard for loose balls as they usually do but pulled out a 68-56 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday night to remain perfect in the Southeastern Conference.
Meighan Simmons led the Lady Vols with 17 points, Angie Bjorklund and Glory Johnson each scored 14 and Kamiko Williams added 13.
Kelley Cain grabbed 13 rebounds, and Tennessee had a 52-39 advantage on the boards, turning its offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points.