Dawgs bite Vols in end, 70-61

When Scooter McFadgon's acrobatic three-play pulled Tennessee within 51-50 with 6:48 left in Saturday's game at Georgia, it appeared that the Vols might be ready to notch their first SEC road victory of the season.

Nope. Not this time.

Tennessee, which shows a disturbing tendency to self-destruct at the end of road games, committed turnovers on its next four consecutive possessions and went on to lose 71-60.

''Again, we just fell apart going down the stretch,'' Vol head man Buzz Peterson said on his post-game show.

Tennessee finished with 19 turnovers, many coming in the game's final seven minutes.

''We turned it over way too much at that time, and that was a time when you can't (afford to) do it,'' Peterson said. ''When you have those turnovers, you just give 'em opportunities on the opposite end.''

And Georgia took advantage of those opportunities. Rashad Wright nailed two 3-pointers to spark a 10-1 run that widened the gap from 51-50 to 61-51 and sealed Tennessee's doom.

Brandon Crump hit six of eight floor shots and scored 18 points to pace Tennessee, now 13-10 overall and 5-7 in SEC play. Crump scored 13 first-half points but was limited to two field-goal tries after intermission.

''I fault Brandon some for that,'' Peterson said. ''He's got to get in there, establish low-post position and want the ball.''

McFadgon added 13 but sank just five of 16 floor shots. C.J. Watson had a terrible game, going 0 of 8 from the field and committing four turnovers before fouling out in the final minutes.

Wright finished with 22 points to pace the Dawgs, who improved to 14-10 and 6-7. Damien Wilkins added 18 and Jonas Hayes 16.

Crump scored the Vols' first seven points and later hit a layup that gave the Vols a 25-19 lead with 5:05 left to the break. Down 27-21 moments later, Georgia (aided by a questionable technical foul on Tennessee), used a 10-2 spurt to grab a 31-29 halftime lead.

''It's a shame because I felt at halftime that our guys had played well enough to win the ballgame,'' Peterson said. ''The crowd wasn't really into it, we were doing some good things and we had some great opportunities in the second half to take the lead.''

Georgia maintained a slight lead throughout the second half, finally pulling away when Wright ignited the 10-1 spurt after the Vols had closed to 51-50.

Tennessee, now 0-6 in SEC road games, will try again Wednesday night, when the Vols visit Kentucky. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.


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