February 6, 2013
Struggles follow Vols home
Looking to stay in the middle of the SEC pack and avoid a second straight loss Tennessee (11-10, 3-6) came up short tonight against Georgia (11-11, 5-4), falling 68-62 to the Bulldogs in a game that the visitors seemed to control from the opening moments.
Tennessee simply didn't seem to match Georgia's intensity from the opening tip, which is out of character for this team, particular on its home floor. The Vols never led for a single moment of the game, fell behind by 10 points on two separate occasions in the first half and trailed by nine points at the half.
"I have to say that I don't think we came out with the kind of intensity we needed to, definitely not like we usually do at home and when you're playing anybody in this league, if you come out a little flat they're going to be able to take advantage," Skylar McBee said of the Vols' ugly start.
"We just had so many turnovers early, I think maybe five in the first 10 possessions. Those are possessions you're not going to get back, and when you do that, you let the visiting team get confident and kind of get on a roll. That happened to us tonight and we couldn't dig ouselves out.
Georgia shot 50% for the game, a sizzling 58% in the second half and got a game-high 24 points from Kentavious Caldwell Pope who definitively showed himself to be the best player on the floor while nailing down the win for his team with some clutch play in the closing moments.
Tennessee had a manageable 14 turnovers in the game, but 11 miscues in the first half--including eight in the first nine minutes of play--set the tone and put the Vols in a hole they spent all night trying to get out of.
The 14 turnovers were compounded by the fact that the Vols had only nine assists on 18 made shots. It's the fifth straight game in which the Vols have had as many, or more, turnovers as assists.
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