Vols Trip Dawgs on Road

Thursday night's game at Georgia had all the earmarks of another Tennessee loss. Up 42-33 at halftime, the Vols went into a finishing fade that allowed Georgia to pull within 60-58 on a Steve Newman basket with 4:44 remaining.

Just when it appeared the Bulldogs would hand Tennessee another heartbreaking loss, however, the Big Orange got hot. The Vols scored the game's next 11 points, then held on to win 72-65.

Tennessee, which went 0-8 in SEC road games a year ago, now stands 1-0 in league play and 8-5 overall. Georgia, which has just six scholarship players, slips to 0-1 and 6-5.

Following Newman's basket, UT head man Buzz Peterson called a timeout. Whatever he said during the conference, it worked. Brandon Crump hit a half-hook, Jemere Hendrix sank a baseline jumper and C.J. Watson made four free throws as the Vols went up 68-58 with two minutes left.

Georgia could not get back in the game after that.

Watson finished with 17 points, including a 9-of-10 performance at the foul line. He picked up his fourth foul with eight minutes left but managed to play the rest of the way foul-free. Chris Lofton, who chipped in 14 points, also finished the game with four fouls. Scooter McFadgon and Andre Patterson contributed 11 points apiece for the Vols, who shot a solid 51 percent (23 of 45) from the field.

Georgia was led by freshman Sundiata Gaines (23 points) and Levi Stukes (21). The Dawgs shot an icy 31 percent (10 of 31) in the first half but warmed up in the second to finish at 41 percent.

The Bulldogs raced to a 15-9 lead in the opening minutes but UT responded with an 11-0 run. A 3-pointer by Watson sparked the rally. Georgia pulled even at 33-33 but Tennessee scored the final nine points of the half.

The Vols return to action Saturday, hosting Vanderbilt. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m., with CBS televising the game.


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