March 14, 2012

Yemi & youngsters lead the way

Most expected to see Tennessee cruise into the second round of the NIT tonight with a win over visiting Savannah State, but things didn't exactly go according to plan. The Vols got the win, 65-51, but had to claw and fight for it, at least in part because the team was without the services of Second team All-SEC power forward Jeronne Maymon.

Maymon, who led the Vols in both scoring (14.2 ppg ) and rebounding (7.9 rpg) in conference play, sat out tonight's NIT opener with what Cuonzo Martin dubbed a 'sore knee.' Martin added that the injury has been lingering for a couple of weeks, starting with the Vols win at LSU on Feb. 29.

Even with Maymon sidelined, most probably weren't anticipating that the Vols would have the sort of trouble putting Savannah State away that they did. With 13:12 left in the game Tennessee found itself up just 37-35 before managing to pull away and coast a bit for a 65-51 win.

"It's tough. You're talking about an all-league player. A guy who rebounds. I guy who really posts strong. A guy who helps facilitate the offense. You're talking about really your team leader. You can't lose a guy of that magnitude and think you're going to click on all cylinders out of th

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