The Tennessee Volunteers just wilted away after having 52-39 lead with 15:12 left in the contest eventually losing 80-69 to Ole Miss. The Vols could not match the energy Ole Miss brought to finish the game. Robert Hubbs III raced out to an excellent start with 15 points but much like the team also wilted away and was held scoreless the last 13 minutes of the game. Jordan Bowden and Lamonte Turner has spurts of scoring sprees but couldn't find the mark in the closing minutes of the game as the Vols suffered its forth SEC loss falling to 2-4 in conference play and 9-9 overall.
Offense: It was a game of ebbs and flows for the Big Orange offense. After a slow start the Vols overcame a 38-31 deficit to take the lead 52-39 but then completely flopped. Tennessee was not able to create any kind of productive game on the interior as freshman Grant Williams had an off night with only five points. Jordan Bone couldn't follow up his stellar night in Nashville as he only made one of his nine field goal attempts. Overall the Vols shot 35 percent and made only six of 25 from 3-point range. Rick Barnes saw his team commit an acceptable 12 turnovers but the timing of many of those were killers. This was just an overall very inconsistent performance on offense.
Defense: By the time Rick Barnes made the desperation move of playing zone the game was over. The reason for having to make that move was the Vols were unable to keep Ole Miss from being able to drive the basketball. This team has struggled with that all year and tonight was no different. Playing defense without fouling is a battle this team lost badly tonight. Ole Miss shot 42 free throws in the game making 27 of them.The short handed host shot 48 percent from the floor and committed 17 turnovers. A number of times the Rebels just our hustled the Vols down the floor and the energy level for the Vols should be questioned. This performance on defense was one of the worst for the Big Orange all year.
Rebounding: The Vols lost the rebounding battle 50-42 but were able to haul in four more offensive boards than the host with 17. It should be noted that Tennessee had 18 more missed shots to attack the offensive glass than the Rebels so winning that battle is nothing to brag about. The Vols were led by Hubbs with seven, Kyle Alexander added six, and Lew Evans had five. The effort on the glass was not an area of the game that decided the outcome.