Vols Fall Short at Arkansas

There aren't many things Tennessee does consistently on the basketball court but Buzz Peterson's Vols have perfected the forced shot at the buzzer with the game on the line.

That's how last season ended in the NIT against George Mason and the trend has continued throughout the current season. The latest episode resulted in a 70-68 loss at Arkansas, dropping the Vols to 12-15 with two games to go in the regular season.

C.J. Watson was forced to take the final shot when UT failed to free Chris Lofton for a three-pointer that would have given the Vols a one-point victory. Lofton had connected on 7-of-14 treys in the contest and finished with a career-high 30 points. Conversely, Watson made only 2-of-10 field goals and concluded the contest with four points.

The miss ruined what had been a strong road effort by the Vols who went into Fayetteville as 11-point underdogs. Tennessee trailed 37-32 at the half and fell behind by nine points early in the second period before rallying to take a five-point edge.

Unfortunately, the Vols appeared to tire down the stretch and the Razorbacks used their superior depth to retake the lead. Arkansas got 64 minutes from its bench while UT got just 38 minutes from its reserves. Sophomore guard Ronnie Brewer paced the Hogs with 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

Andre Patterson scored 11 points and had a team-high eight rebounds for Tennessee while Brandon Crump finished with 11 points and three boards. The remainder of UT's team scored 16 total points as Watson and Dane Bradshaw combined to hit 4-of-17 field goal attempts in the absence of leading scorer Scooter McFadgon who sat out his third straight contest with a bruised knee.

The Vols only had six assists in the game against eight turnovers, while Arkansas had 18 assists vs. 14 turnovers. The Razorbacks also out rebounded the Vols 38-32 and out shot Tennessee from the field 47 percent (26 of 55) to 42 percent (26 of 62).

Tennessee travels next to Lexington to take on SEC leader Kentucky on Wednesday before concluding the regular season at home against Georgia next Saturday.


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