Jan. 14, 2004
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee bounced back from its first Southeastern Conference loss. Vanderbilt didn't.
C.J. Watson had 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for Tennessee (10-2, 2-1), which was coming off a 95-57 loss at Florida over the weekend.
Volunteers coach Buzz Peterson was concerned.
"It's been an interesting three or four days for this team and at the Peterson household after what happened in Gainesville," Peterson said. "I had some fear coming out of there, but the great thing about basketball is it gives you a chance to improve and come back."
Vanderbilt (12-2, 1-2) had the school's best start with 12 straight wins before it lost at Kentucky 75-63 four days ago.
The Commodores trailed nearly the entire game against Tennessee but rallied in the final minutes only to fall short and lose their second straight.
"We looked at this game as one of 16 in the conference. You have to play well on the road to win," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "You have to outplay an SEC team on their court to win."
And Vanderbilt gave it a good try.
The Commodores were down by 11 points with 5:08 left but had an 11-3 run to cut it to 65-62 with 2:51 to go.
McFadgon ended Vanderbilt's flurry with a 3-pointer - his first field goal of the second half. Jemere Hendrix, who was 0-of-2 from beyond the arc before the game, hit another 3 to seal it for Tennessee with 1:32 remaining.
With leading scorer Matt Freije struggling offensively, Vanderbilt turned to other players. Scott Hundley scored all 11 of his points in the second half and made six free throws during Vanderbilt's final run.
Mario Moore also had 11 points and Dawid Przybyszewski and Julian Terrell each added 10 for the Commodores.
Freije, who came in averaging 18.3 points, finished with eight points on 2-of-12 shooting.
Freije, the preseason SEC player of the year, was held to 13 points at Kentucky.
"He's just pressing, just struggling. Whether it is a slump or whatever," Stallings said. "We have to feed off Matt Freije's play."
McFadgon was 5-of-12 from the field and had 13 points in the first half. He had four points in a key run that gave Tennessee the lead.
Vanderbilt had control early and led by as many as five points in the first half before the Vols overcame some sloppy play. Tennessee had 17 turnovers in the game.
Tied at 22, Tennessee had an 8-1 run, capped by Dane Bradshaw's basket with 3:29 to go for a 30-23 lead.
McFadgon had a driving layup and then scored as he was falling down and the shot clock was winding down in the middle of the spurt.
Vanderbilt cut Tennessee's lead to four at the beginning of the second half but couldn't sustain a rally. The Vols responded with an 8-0 run to go up 44-32 with 14:32 left.
Watson nearly had Tennessee's first-ever triple double but fell short with seven assists.