March 9, 2012

Vols bow out in bitter fashion

Box Score

New Orleans -- The tidal wave of momentum Tennessee road into New Orleans finally petered out on Friday night. The Vols lost a slugfest to Ole Miss, falling 77-72 in overtime, ending what had been a magical late season run and exiting the SEC tourney before the weekend even really got into full swing.

The Vols dropped this one in agonizing fashion after a desperation three-point prayer from Skylar McBee was answered at the end of regulation to force overtime. McBee banked in a fade-away three from 25-feet out to tie the game at 61-61, but Ole Miss owned the overtime frame.

McBee's huge shot seemed like the kind of turing point that would carry over into overtime, but that turned out to not be the case.

The Rebels scored on their first seven offensive possessions of the extra frame, opening up a 70-63 lead that Tennessee couldn't overcome.

"We were just fighting to get a chance to win it. We needed three  to get into overtime and ended up getting it, so we were just fighting to stay alive. That's what you're trying to do in the tournament, no matter how ugly or pretty it is, you just want to get  to the next round. And  it (the shot)  just happened," McBee said of what almost went down as the shot of the year for the Vols.

"In overtime we just didn't play  as  well  as  we  needed  to  to  get  that win."

The Vols were led in scoring by Golden who tossed in 21 points. McBee and Cameron Tatum added 15 each while Jeronne Maymon pieced together a double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds.

In reality, Tennessee was fortunate to wind up in position to force overtime. The Vols endured their worst shooting effort of the season, finishing the night an abysmal 18-of-64 (28.1%) from the floor. The first half was particularly atrocious from a shooting standpoint.

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