, Tennessee (PressExposure) March 08, 2009 -- The Tennessee Volunteers fought hard in a head to head battle at Thompson-Boling Arena on March 8th, that left the Alabama Crimson tide on top at 70-67, snapping a three game winning streak.
The Vols had already secured the lead in the SEC East , but now the loss will force them to share the title.
The Volunteers just didn't show up. They shot for 38 percent from the field, seven of 25 from behind the arc and turned over the ball an astounding 20 times. But probably the hardest pill to swallow was their poor performance at the free throw line, missing 12.
Wayne Chism and Tyler Smith both recorded double doubles. Chism marked his sixth of the season, and ninth of his career with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Smith got his fifth of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. As a volunteer, Smith has scored 11 double doubles. Bobby Maze added 10 points as the third player to score in double digits.
The Crimson Tide led most of the first half, only allowing Tennessee one of 11 from the three point line and closing the half with a 39-29 deficit.
Senario Hillman, Mikhail Torrance, and JaMychal Green all scored double digits for Alabama, with 16, 12, and 10 respectively.
The Volunteers went on an 11-0 run early in the second half cutting the deficit to 43-42 and the last ten minutes held five lead changes and four ties. Tennessee took the lead at 52-48 with less than five minutes on the clock.
"It was tough. We just didn't come out with any energy," Tyler Smith said. "That's the way we had come out in the last three games -- with energy -- and we just didn't tonight."
The rest of the game seemed to be about who wanted it more. With 1:43 left on the clock, a dunk by Scotty Hopson provided the lead at 67-65, but Alonzo Gee hit a jumper to answer with 1:15 left. Bobby Maze missed a three pointer and with five seconds left, Smith missed and was unable to get the ball back.
Anthony Brock, scoring his only shot of the second half threw one in at the buzzer for a last attempt at points, and it sailed through, making this their fourth win of their final five games. Brock finished with 11 points sinking all three of his attempts from behind the three point line.
Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl said, "In our last regular-season game, we can still say nothing will surprise us about this team. I appreciate our team battling back, but we just could not finish it. It has been a long week - at Florida and at South Carolina, and then back here. Teams with less substance and character do not go there and win. We tried not to go too hard these last few days in practice, but our boys never got out of bed."