March 20, 2013
Vols go down in first round of NIT
It seemed that everyone around the Tennessee basketball was concerned about the Vols' motivation heading into Wednesday night's NIT opener against Mercer. On the heels of Mercer's 75-67 win over a sluggish Tennessee squad, it seems those concerns were well founded.
That view shouldn't detract from Mercer's performance. The Bears were clearly the better team on this night, executing at a high level on both ends of the floor while Tennessee struggled to sustain anything positive on either end.
Mercer took control of the game with a clinically efficient offensive performance. The visitors backdoor cut the Vols to death, getting a boat load of lay-ups on their way to shooting 54% in the first 20 minutes and building a 34-28 halftime lead.
The Vols never got closer than four points in the entire second half, and for the second year in a row, exit the NIT as an upset victim to a lower seeded team.
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