LIVE Blog: Tennessee vs. Florida

Live Blog By: Clay Seal Sports Editor, ARU Guest Writer

11:20 p.m. - The Vols couldn’t overcome their hot potato halfcourt offense, and they went down by as much as seven points in the overtime, losing 81-75. Tony Jones and Tennessee fall to 0-2 in SEC play.

11:01 p.m. - Goins had good pressure up near midcourt, and Williams held Walker to a lousy 3-point attempt, and we’re headed to overtime. The game’s tied 68-68, they’ll play a five-minute period. Florida hasn’t scored since the 2:36 mark.

10:59 p.m. - The Vols stood around and let the shot clock wind down and couldn’t do much to get the ball to the bucket. Florida has the ball with 5.8 seconds left. Tied 68-68.

10:50 p.m. - Golden got the steal and a layup to tie the game at 64. The Vols haven’t led since 3:08 in the first half, but have stayed in it. We’ll see how Tony Jones’ management is in these next few minutes. One thing’s for sure, he doesn’t scream like Pearl does. And Pearl is probably still screaming just as loud as he normally would… his TV’s feelings are getting hurt.

10:45 p.m. - Harris has seven straight points, and the Vols are down 64-60 with 4:39 to play. They’re getting pretty stingy on defense, breaking up passes and frustrating the Gators.

10:38 p.m. - It’s been back and forth the past few minutes, but the Gators still lead 59-53. 19,846 have been going wild during that time, they’re really into it. Hopson has 11 points this half and is tied with Tatum for the team lead at 16. Both of those guys will need to make shots before the end. Harris had a nice short-range floater after being a bit MIA in the half. He’s got 11 points, but only four rebounds. He’s been doing well in the double-double department as of late, but not tonight.

10:28 p.m. – The crowd is the loudest I’ve seen them this season after Tatum had a monster block and the Vols pulled to within four, 45-49 with 11:57 to play. Parsons is 3-for-4 from behind the arc and has 12 points, but his last 3 was the Gators’ last made field goal… two and a half minutes ago. The best way they can shut this crowd up is to make shots.

10:15 p.m. – The Gators are scoring at will; Vernon Macklin had two nice layins, but Hopson has five points already this half to keep it close, 38-43 at the 15:01 mark. After a perfect first half, Tatum has missed a 3-pointer and two free throws. The Vols aren’t getting many points off the bench, so it’s important Tatum scores in the upper teens.

TNJN/Ozburn, Ben

The Daily Beacon guys and I thought Fields had two fouls, but he only has one, making it even stranger that Jones subbed him out after just two and a half minutes for Williams.

Halftime – A Fields dunk leaves the Vols down 32-31 at halftime. After the Vols went on a 14-2 run, Florida went on an 11-0 run before Fields’ dunk.

The numbers below won’t make the Vols look bad, and neither will the score. But the way their halfcourt offense is stagnant sometimes is troublesome.

Fields has to stay in the game. Everything’s better when he’s in. He’s got five rebounds, four points and a steal in 12 minutes. His intensity is exactly what Tennessee needs.

UT Stats

FG: 52.2% (12-23)
3PT: 40% (4-10)
REB: 13

UF Stats

FG: 48.3% (14-29)
3PT: 28.6% (2-7)
REB: 17

9:40 p.m. - Chandler Parsons hit his first shots of the night – two consecutive 3s – to bring Florida to within two points, 29-27 with 3:48 before halftime. Parsons can hit shots from a lot of places, so the Vols don’t want him to get hot.

Tennessee’s suffered three fouls in the past couple minutes.

9:35 p.m. - Tennessee is currently on a 14-5 run, leading 29-21 with five minutes to play.

9:29 p.m. – Florida calls a timeout after Tatum stole the ball and went to the other coast for the dunk, giving the Vols a 22-19 lead with 7:48 to go. The Gators haven’t scored in about three minutes.

Tatum’s a perfect 4-for-4 (2-for-2 from behind the arc) and good for 11 points so far tonight. The Vols are getting their best looks from the outside, and the shots haven’t been bad. Tatum, Goins and Hopson have taken it inside for some good shots, though. The more of those the better.

9:21 p.m. - Another questionable Volunteer rotation helps Florida take the lead, 15-14 with 11:37 left in the half. It was Golden, McBee, Bone, Williams and Maymom for a time. None of those guys are huge scoring threats. Probably have to leave Hopson, Tatum or Harris on the floor, because they haven’t scored since those guys went to the bench.

Alex Tyus scored the Gators’ first seven points, but four other players have hit a shot since to help them take the lead.

9:16 p.m. - Tennessee’s up 14-11 with 13:14 left in the first half. Both teams are looking pretty good, making some tough shots around the court. Tennessee’s got the edge inside, outrebounding 5-2.

John Fields got his first start of the season tonight, and brought the energy inside the paint with two points, two rebounds and a steal, but got sent to the bench with two quick fouls.

Pregame – Tennessee has lost five of their past eight, including a 68-65 blow in their SEC opener at Arkansas Saturday. Bruce Pearl will be serving game two of his eight-game suspension tonight, leaving Tony Jones to take care of his in-game duties.

Tonight’s game is important for two reasons:

1. The Vols’ lack of consistency and less-than-favorable record against unranked teams is threatening their hopes of a sixth straight NCAA tournament appearance.

2. They need to keep pace in the SEC East. Falling to 0-2 would make it even more difficult to win the division.

Good thing for UT, they tend to play well against Florida. In fact, they’ve only lost two of 10 to the Gators since Pearl took over the helm.

Scotty Hopson likes playing Florida: he averages 14.3 points and 3.3 averages a game. He also shoots about 47 percent from beyond the arc. Hopson hit a long 2-pointer to win the game the last time Florida traveled to Knoxville.

As usual, it’s all about which Tennessee team shows up tonight. They’re 3-0 against ranked teams, but they’ve lost to the likes of Charlotte and Charleston. Tobias Harris has had a double-double in three of his past four outings, and Melvin Goins has been hot from behind the arc (8-of-12) in his last five games. If those two and Hopson perform well, there’s no reason they can’t take care of the Gators at home.

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About Jake Ryle

I'm a Sports Reporter/Anchor at KTBY/KYUR (FOX/ABC) in Anchorage, Alaska...Also an alumnus of Western Kentucky University, and a major in broadcast news. Have any fun ideas for The ARU? Let me know via email!

Posted on January 11, 2011, in Basketball, Live Blogs, NCAA Sports, Previews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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