February 26, 2009
Still Alive, Vols Win 81-75
With their postseason fate potentially hanging in the balance Tennessee (17-10, 8-5) took care of business on Wednesday night, defeating Mississippi State (17-11, 7-6) 81-76. The win ends a two-game slide for the Vols and even keeps their chances alive in the SEC's completely unpredictable East division.
Bruce Pearl wasn't sure how his team would respond, backed into a proverbial corner of sorts with a home-win tonight a virtual necessity in terms of an NCAA invite. Adding to the coach's uncertainty were memories of the previous two games, arguably his team's worst consecutive efforts of the season.
"It could have gone either way. Mississippi State could have come in here and shot us out. Every team in this league has weaknesses in this league. It's just a matter of finding them and hiding your own. From a confidence standpoint I really thought our kids battled back," Pearl said after a much needed win.
The night-and-day contrast between the quality of the Vols' play at home compared to on the road was once again in evidence.
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