Sometimes it is difficult to look beyond the result of a contest but tonight was a night that one should do just that. Tennessee simply couldn't knock home open shots and fell just short despite an all around well played game by the Big Orange. Arkansas went 11 for 11 from the charity stripe to seal the game 82-78.
Offense: Tennessee for the second straight game was not able to find its' shooting touch and finished the night at 39% from the floor. The Big Orange also struggled from 3-pt range making only five of 19 attempts. If offense was only about shooting then the grade for the night would be a poor one but the Vols played well outside of their below average shooting. Tennessee only committed eight turnovers and had 15 assists on the night which Rick Barnes would take every game the rest of the year. Jordan Bone had some excellent minutes in his first home contest since being out an extended time with injury but did commit a big turnover late that hurt the Vols chances of pulling this one out. Robert Hubbs III led the Vols with 21 points, Detrick Mostella finished with 16 points but was just five for 12 from the floor and Grant Williams added 15. Despite the poor shooting it is hard to grade the offensive performance in a negative light.
Defense: Arkansas made plenty of circus type shots but the bottom line is the Vols allowed their opponent to shoot 50 percent from the floor. On positive side of things, the Big Orange for the second straight game shut down an All-SEC big man in Moses Kingsley. He was limited to just seven points and Williams made the play of the game blocking his shot in a one on one down low situation late in the game. Rick Barnes is doing an excellent job of game planning against opponents bigs and his players are executing nicely in that area. The Vols were not able to force the Razorbacks into many turnovers as they only committed nine on the game. Overall the defensive performance was the area of the game that allowed the visitors to get the victory.
Rebounding: Williams stole the show in this area. The freshman single handily kept the Vols in this game by crashing the glass. The "undersized" youngster had 11 boards. It is high time the "undersized' label is traded for a more appropriate label that accurately describes Williams. This young man knows how to play without a doubt. Hubbs continues to shine in this area with seven boards of his own. Shemberi Phillips and Admiral Schofield had excellent rebounding nights as well in limited minutes with 13 boards between them. The Vols won the overall battle of the boards 43-36 and also 14 to five in offensive boards. This was an outstanding effort on the boards for the Volunteers and one that should have led to a victory.