December 21, 2012
Second half surge pushes Vols to win
During much of the first half tonight it looked like Tennessee (7-3) may have had its mind more on the upcoming Christmas break, and less on visiting Western Carolina (4-8). The Vols shooting touch in the first 20 minutes of play matched the frigid weather outside righting the ship and closing the game with a flourish for a 66-52 win.
For a team that already has some historically bad offensive outings under its belt this season, Friday's first half threatened to set a new standard for futility. The Vols hit just 3-of-21 field goal attempts (14.3%) in that first half, the kind of performance that made everyone in attendance seriously consider the likelihood of a pre-Christmas upset.
The only thing more amazing than Tennessee's inability to score from the field in that first half is that despite their struggles, the Vols carried a 22-18 lead into the break. That was thanks steady parade to the foul line where they knocked down 16-of-20 in the first half and 30-of-42 in the game.
"Sometimes it's like that," Martin said of leading at halftime despite watching his team hit just three shots from the field in the opening 20 minutes. "They did a good job of sagging, but I thought Kenny (Hall) missed some easy ones. I thought in some cases Jarnell was drawing a lot of contact when he was going up. That's part of it.
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