Chism played hurt vs. OSU

Tennessee's basketball players were hurting after last Friday's 77-75 first-round NCAA Tournament loss to Oklahoma State but one Vol was hurting even before the game.

Wayne Chism, the Vols' 6-9 junior forward, suffered a fractured left thumb in practice last Wednesday but decided to play through the pain two days later. This information arrived today via email from the UT sports information office to media that cover Big Orange basketball.

According to the news release, associate athletic trainer Chad Newman said the fractured thumb has been fitted with a hard cast.

"Wayne was in a great deal of pain during the Oklahoma State game," head coach Bruce Pearl is quoted as saying. "Our team medical staff didn't think he would risk further injury by playing in the game Friday, but his thumb was taped and he was clearly limited in what he could do with that hand.

"Wayne never made a big deal about the injury – before, during or after the game. He demonstrated tremendous toughness."

Chism played 28 minutes against the Cowboys but sank just 4 of 14 field-goal attempts. He made just 1 of 5 shots from inside the paint but the thumb injury didn't deter him from launching nine 3-pointers – three of which hit the mark. Chism finished with 11 points and six rebounds, slightly below his season averages of 13.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.

Chism's ineffectiveness around the basket may have contributed to the fact the undersized Cowboys – tallest starter 6-6 – outrebounded the Vols 31-28 and outscored UT 28-24 on points in the paint.

Newman said Chism will wear the cast on his left hand for approximately 2-4 weeks. A full recovery is expected.

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