The Tennessee Volunteers fell short against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Southeastern Conference tournament, losing a heartbreaker 59-57.
This was the second loss to the Bulldogs on the season but this one was different as the Vols were able to limit Georgia point guard J.J. Frazier on the day.
The Big Orange came out ice cold and immediately fell behind 5-0 missing its first six shots before Lamonté Turner broke the ice, making a 3-point shot from the top of the key with 15:46 left in the half.
The Vols kept the game within reach with solid defense forcing seven turnovers in the first 8:24 of the contest.
Tennessee would ride the hot shooting of Turner and Jordan Bone to a 27-26 halftime lead. The two freshmen point guards combined for 17 first half points making 6 of 9 shot attempts from the floor.
The second half started much like the first as Georgia scored the first six points of the half.
Admiral Schofield made his presence known with two free throws and a long range bomb that tied the game at 37-37 with 13:24 to play.
Bone continued his hot shooting making his fourth three pointer of the game to pull the Vols within 45-44 just inside of 10 minutes remaining.
Tennessee had a number of attempts from long range to take the lead and Jordan Bowden finally made one giving the Big Orange the lead at 51-49 with 6:08 to go.
Frazier scored six points with four from the charity stripe down the stretch to give Georgia the lead 59-57 with the game on the line in the final seconds.
Schofield missed an open 3-point look at the buzzer that would have given the Vols the victory.
Barnes said, "If we could get that same look every time we would. It was a great look."
Offense: Rick Barnes saw his team struggle mightily at times at the end of the season to score points and that continued in this game.
The Big Orange shot just 33 percent from the floor and only 28 percent from outside the arc.
The positives for the Vols were that the point guard position was a strength as Turner and Bone were forced into more minutes as Shemari Phillips was out with an ankle injury.
Bone led the Vols in scoring 14 points and Turner added 13. The combination also did an excellent job of protecting the ball as Tennessee committed just eight turnovers.
Grant Williams scored 30 points in the previous match-up with Georgia but only attempted one shot attempt on the day. Williams suffered with foul trouble and Barnes even sarcastically mentioned after the game he would have liked to seen some of this calls reviewed.
Robert Hubbs III had a tough day as he scored only six points on 3 of 11 shooting.
The Vols relied too heavily on the perimeter shot attempting 25 from downtime and this area was clearly the area that cost the Vols a victory.
Defense: Barnes said after the game "I am really proud of our team. They played their hearts out. We defended well enough."
The Vols were embarrassed by Frazier in the first contest as he tallied 29 points but the Big Orange took him out of his game this go around allowing the senior 17 points on just 4 of 13 shooting.
Georgia shot 43 percent from the floor making 3 of 8 from outside the arc.
Tennessee did force 15 turnovers with their intensity on the defensive end of the floor.
This was the most complete game the Vols have played all year defensively.
Rebounding: The rebounding stats are misleading in this one.
Georgia won the battle on the boards 39-29 but the defense was so good by both teams neither team was able to get on the offensive glass with any kind of regularity. Tennessee grabbed six to Georgia's five.
Tennessee had 12 more shot attempts than Georgia which explains the overall rebounding edge for the 'Dawgs.
Schofield had a huge day on the boards for the Vols grabbing 11.