Cocks trim Vols, 66-63

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tennessee picked the wrong night to need a last-second 3-pointer.

On an evening when the Vols hit just 4 of 17 from beyond the arc, it was perhaps fitting that their doom was sealed when Chris Lofton's potential game-tying 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer in a 66-63 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Tennessee slips to 9-7 overall, 2-2 SEC. Carolina improves to 10-5 and 2-2.

Scooter McFadgon led the Vols with 17 points. Brandon Crump and Lofton added 11 each. Lofton, normally one of the SEC's premier 3-point shooters, hit just 1 of 6 on the night. His numbers were typical of Tennessee's perimeter shooters on this particular game, however. The Vols dominated the ''points in the paint'' statistic, 34-18, but simply couldn't hit from the outside.

Head coach Buzz Peterson praised his team for its ''determination, toughness and poise'' but added that the Vols ''have got to execute on both ends of the floor and play without fouling.''

On the subject of fouling, the coach said he was so disturbed by some late calls that went against the Vols that he plans to submit the game tape to the SEC office for review. Peterson added that two calls against point guard C.J. Watson in particular were ''very, very questionable.''

So is Tennessee's immediate future. The Vols travel to Florida Wednesday, then visit nationally ranked Lousville next Saturday. They host Kentucky (ranked in the top 10) on Jan. 25, then play at Auburn Jan. 29 and at Vanderbilt Feb. 2. Tennessee projects to be an underdog in each of those five games.


Inside Tennessee Top Stories