Vols fall to Arkansas, 75-65

Tennessee falls to Arkansas on Saturday in Knoxville.

Tennessee dominates at Thompson-Boling Arena, winning 12 of its first 14 games in Knoxville. Arkansas struggles mightily on the road, losing all but one game away from Fayetteville this season. 

So it was only natural in this turbulent college basketball season that the roles would reverse. 

Arkansas shot 45 percent from 3-point range and 59 percent from the field in the second half to defeat Tennessee, 75-65, Saturday in Knoxville. It was the Razorbacks' first win at Tennessee since 2006 and only the third victory ever for the program in Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols couldn't stop the hot shooting of Arkansas as it finished 48 percent from the field, including 9-of-19 from 3-point range. 

"I think it goes back to baskebtall IQ and transition defense," Barnes said. "Sometimes, I've said it before, when you have bad offense it can lead to bad defense." 

Tennessee shot just 19 percent from 3-point range and turned the ball over 11 times in the loss. The Vols, who started three freshmen for the first time since 2007, only mustered nine points from the bench and failed to hit a groove with point guard Kevin Punter out with a stress fracture in his right foot. 

Armani Moore paced the team with a double-double, notching 17 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Freshmen Admiral Schofield (15) and Shembari Phillips (13) combined for 28 points, but other than that, Tennessee failed to get any production out of its older players. Devon Baulkman connected on just 2-of-9 shots for seven points Detrick Mostella managed just one 3-pointer in the 10-point loss. 

"He was unbelievable for what he needed to do," Barnes said of Moore. "He just needed more help from his teammates."

Moore tried to calm his team down at times to no avail. The Vols shot 38 percent from the field to end the night. 

"I think tonight a lot of guys were just thinking about it too much," Moore said. "I was telling (Baulkman) and Detrick, 'You've just got to shoot the ball. Y'all are known as shooters. That's what y'all do.' Once they put the ball down and start playmaking, that kind of throws off our offense." 

The Vols seemed to press without Punter or Robert Hubbs, who didn't play do to problems with his knee. 

"He said something's wrong with his knee, but I didn't expect him to play at all," Barnes said. "With the way he walked around, I didn't expect him at all. I've learned not to have any great expectations there." 

With Hubbs and Punter out, Tennessee lost a good chunk of its scoring and was forced to rely on a freshman nucleus that is racking up considerable minutes down the stretch. The lack of depth hurt the Vols, who found no production outside of its starting five and failed to guard for much of the second half.

"Our second half defense is what hurt us today," Barnes said. "We didn't guard and we broke down too much. We can drive them ... but then they started driving the ball back at us and we didn't respond very well." 

Tennessee hits the road for its final away game on Tuesday against rival Vanderbilt before concluding the regular season at home with Ole Miss. 

"This is the team we're going to finish the season with," Barnes said. "We need Baulkman, we need Mostella, we need Shembari, we need Brad (Woodson). We need those guys and we need them to do more defensively."


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