Friday, March 14, 2008

Lofton Keeps Vols Playing

The Vols accomplished something that they haven't since 1991, they won a SEC Tournament game. But, it certainly didn't come easy. The Gamecocks went ahead by one point with 20.8 seconds left in the game. Pearl called a timeout and set up the play that would win them the game. Lofton ran through a screen and took the basketball on a handoff before making the game winner with 11.4 seconds left. Downey came up short on a 3-pointer that could have won it for South Carolina, but the Gamecocks got a final chance when the rebound went out of bounds off Tyler Smith with 1.1 seconds left. The inbound pass went to Archie, but got stuck between his legs while he was being tightly guarded by Tyler Smith. The two were tied up with it as the horn sounded and the Vols ended their SEC Tournament woes. Lofton said after the game: "It didn't look good at the beginning and up to that point. But I knew coach called my number, and I just had confidence it was going to go in and it did." But, possibly my favorite quote of the day, came from Bruce Pearl who afterward said: "I sleep at night knowing we're going to find a way." The Vols got big play out of Wayne Chism who led the Volunteers with 23 points and helped establish an inside game. Tennessee will play Arkansas tomorrow, Saturday March 15, at 1:00 PM ET. The Vols will need a lot more on the defensive side if they want to beat Arkansas, who defeated Vanderbilt Friday. "I think a close game will help us," Pearl said. "I mean, we've got however many games left in the season, and every single one of them is now for a championship. It's sink or swim. It's all do or die."

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Getting to the Game

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