Buzz wants to play 'keep-away'

Ohio State stunned heavily favored Miami to win the NCAA football title earlier this month by using a ball-control attack that kept the high-scoring Hurricanes at bay.

Tennessee's basketball team hopes to use the same ploy tonight against heavily favored and 19th-ranked Georgia. Tipoff is set for 7:30 in Athens, Ga.

''We can't let Georgia get settled in their halfcourt offense,'' Vol head man Buzz Peterson said. ''We need to keep them off-balance as much as we can. We have to make sure we have the ball in our hands as much as possible -- limit our turnovers, get the shot we want.''

Georgia is 10-4 overall and 2-1 in league play, but may well be the SEC's finest team. The Bulldogs pushed Florida to the limit last weekend at Gainesville before losing on a 3-point shot at the buzzer.

''We've got our hands full,'' said Peterson, whose team is 9-4 overall and 2-2 in SEC play.

Tennessee's best chance to win is to limit mistakes (bad shots and turnovers) whlle hitting the backboards hard, offensively and defensively. UT outrebounds its opponents by an average of 7.7 per game, and the board battle could be crucial tonight.

''We've got to keep rebounding,'' Peterson said. ''We're in the top 15 in the country in rebound margin right now, and that's something we've been harping on. We've got to continue to win the boards. If we don't, Chris Daniels and Steve Thomas -- even those guards -- can hit the boards and really hurt you. Ezra Williams (6-4, 235-pound senior guard) is a tremendous offensive rebounder.''

Senior forward Ron Slay (6-8) leads UT with an average of 7.8 rebounds per game. Brandon Crump (6-10 center) is next at 5.8). Surprisingly, point guard C.J. Watson ranks third on the team with an average of 4.2 rebounds per game.

''It's a team thing,'' Peterson said of Tennessee's backboard work. ''Even C.J.'s getting a lot of rebounds. Slay's doing a good job. Crump and Elgrace (Wilborn) are doing solid jobs. We've got to keep winning the rebounds. If you win the rebounds ... the majority of the time you'll usually come out with a win.''


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