UT ain't fine at the line

Although his team has made less than half of its free-throw tries (19 of 40) over the past two games, Vol coach Buzz Peterson hasn't lost confidence in his players' ability to score from the foul line.

''I like it when our team is at the free throw line,'' he said this week. ''I think we're good free-throw shooters, and we'll knock those down. It's unfortunate the way things have happened in a couple of those games and we didn't finish.''

Tennessee's foul shooting has been spotty at best. The Vols hit 78.3 percent (18 of 23) in Game 1 vs. Stanford, 88.9 percent (16 of 18) in Game 2 vs. North Carolina, 80 percent (16 of 20) in Game 4 vs. Wofford and 80 percent (12 of 15) in Game 8 vs. New Mexico. However, they have been pitiful in some other games -- 66.7 percent (14 of 21) in Game 6 vs. Xavier, 58.3 percent (14 of 24) in Game 7 vs. Alabama State, 35.3 percent (6 of 17) in Game 11 vs. Nebraska and 56.5 percent (13 of 23) in Game 12 vs. Coastal Carolina.

Bad free throw shooting cost UT a victory against Nebraska. Scooter McFadgon (a 90-percent foul shooter last year) went 0 for 3 from the line in the final 30 seconds of last Thursday's 62-61 loss to the Cornhuskers. It could've cost another victory, as well. C.J. Watson missed two potential game-clinching free throws in the final seconds of Tennessee's 71-69 defeat of Xavier but redeemed himself by stealing the ball to abort the visitors' final possession.

For the year, Tennessee is hitting a so-so 69.2 percent from the foul line. Oddly, its opponents are hitting a pathetic 59.6 percentage from the stripe.


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