UT-Arkansas, part II

Tennessee gave Arkansas fits Feb. 26 at Fayetteville only to lose 70-68. The Vols are hoping for a better outcome when the teams collide again Thursday in Round 1 of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Vols have two advantages they didn't have last time. First, the game will be played at a neutral site -- the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Secondly, they will have the services of senior captain Scooter McFadgon, who missed the Fayetteville game with a sore knee.

Vol head man Buzz Peterson is looking forward to the rematch with the Razorbacks, who he described as ''talented, athletic and deep.''

''Our game with them a couple of weeks ago was a tight game,'' he added. ''We had our chances in a tough environment. We are looking forward to playing them again. Scooter gives us another punch out there offensively. I'm sure it's going to be a heck of a ball game.''

In an effort to slow the pace, Tennessee played almost exclusively zone defense in the earlier meeting with Arkansas. The ploy worked in the first half, as the Vols held the Hogs to 44 percent shooting, including just 33 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. Arkansas warmed up in the second half, however, hitting 52 percent oveall and a sizzling 62.5 percent (5 of 8) from 3-point range.

''We played zone in that game more than any game I've ever coached,'' Peterson said, adding that ''The zone kept the tempo in our favor.''

Whether UT will utilize the zone as much in Thursday's rematch remains to be seen.

''Will we play as much this time? I don't know,'' Peterson said. ''We'll see what's going good for us but I don't anticipate playing as much as I did last time.''

Both teams enter Thursday's game in slumps. Tennessee (13-16 overall, 6-10 SEC) has lost nine of its last 12 games. Arkansas (18-11, 6-10) has dropped four of its last five. The Hogs' only victory during that span was the defeat of UT.


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