Columbia, SC – There is only one team lower in the SEC East than we are, and we lost to them today. South Carolina (13-12, 3-9 SEC) came into the game on a 5 game losing streak. Tennessee (18-9, 6-6 SEC) came into the game on a 3 game win streak, off two key wins against Vanderbilt and Kentucky…and then this happened. Seventeen points.
Out of the gates, SC seemed to be on a mission. They hit almost 50% from the field and over 50% from three point land. Coming into the game, the Cocks were shooting on average 40% overall. In the first ten minutes, they shot 72%. But then things started to change. A Jajuan shot here, a Ramar shot there and we were on a run. We were making good shot selection, playing good defense, and on the way back. All the articles I’ve seen up so far say the point Tennessee came closest was when Dane hit his only shot of the game to cut it to three, but the truth is at the end of the run in the first it was 28-26. Only two points ahead and the vols with the ball in transition provided a chance to tie the game. Then just as hope was blossoming…it all came crashing down.
The Vols, playing to their strengths, came down the court quickly and put up a shot. Duke Crews, under the rim, crashes the boards and gets the rebound. He goes to put it back up and the ball is knocked from his hands. The South Carolina player excited after the play celebrates by raising his hands and shouting. Crews as he walks up-court to take position for the inbounds turns his head and says, “It wasn’t that good.” Whistle. Technical Foul on Crews. Carolina gets two free throws, but not the ball. An interesting Technical. As usually the team gets the free throws and the ball. But the call was questionable to begin with, so when they brought the ball all the way back down to our side and handed it to Bradshaw, I was surprised but at least it gave us the ball back. The technical, howver, proved more than just a singular penalty. It stopped our run and gave SC time to regroup put plays on the court and get back to leading by at least seven.
Worst No-Call of the Game: The SC player who took out Jajuan’s legs during his lay-up. Jajuan came down hard and had to leave the game after a scary couple of minutes. Action that could have led to serious injury deserves a call every time.
Greatest Quote:“When you lose a game like this, put it on me. I did not do a good job preparing my basketball team, didn’t do a good job coaching the game and didn’t do a good job making adjustments.” – Coach Pearl. What more could you ask for in a coach? Takes all the blame and none of the credit. Somebody tell Phil. My respect for him grows with each game.
Quote which reemphasizes my point: “So my first reaction is if that’s what it takes to get a technical foul, I’ll have to look and see what the standard is.” – Coach Pearl
Player of the Game:
Leading the team in points (15) and overall heart. Still my candidate for Rookie of the Year, at least in Knoxville. Plus he was 6-for-7 at the line. He continues to improve on a great season.Editor’s Note: HUGE thanks to Jason for this awesome contribution. Tell us how you like it, and we’ll
lock him in our dungeon and make him write for us ask him to help us out full time.
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