Feb. 14, 2009
Tennessee Head Coach Bruce Pearl: "It was a big step for us today. It was a great weekend for UT Basketball, from last night's reception for old-time players, and then mixed with our team, and our players were very much impressed. It made a big impression on our team. The guys that came back remember the Vanderbilt rivalry fondly, and we added another great chapter to it this afternoon.
"Tyler Smith operates with great efficiency and energy, just like an All-America is supposed to. This was a special day for Smith, having a career performance in scoring.
"Today's game was a great defensive effort for us here at home. One thing we tried to do is make the other team get farther back from the goal than they are comfortable with. Josh Tabb and the other point guards are doing a good job at stopping their opponents. Dustin Ware, in the Georgia game, and Jermaine Beal today, were both held to just one field goal in each game.
"One concern I had was that we had played well, and they did not play well, when we played in Nashville. Give Vanderbilt a lot of credit for winning their last three games after having a 1-5 SEC record. They played hard in all three of those games, and also against us, and that sometimes is a hard thing to do after a slow start. Vanderbilt has a lot to say about the SEC championship.
"I wanted the crowd to leave here happy, so we made 20,375 people enjoy their Valentine's Day a little more."
Vanderbilt Head Coach Kevin Stallings: "I did not think we competed at the level we normally are used to our guys competing. I thought we, for the first time, did not really fight like we normally fight and that was disappointing.
"I think they did a good job of being physical with A.J. Ogilvy, and a good job defending him. We have got to figure out better ways to get him the ball. They seemed to cover him up pretty good, and so we have to be more creative about how we get him the ball.
"They have active hands, and the ball coming lose is probably a case of us not being strong with the ball, and not handling the ball properly. They have long arms and active hands.
"Tyler Smith was great today and we did not have an answer for him."
- Tyler Smith's 30 points were a career high, surpassing his previous total of 28 points vs. Toledo Nov. 17, 2006 (while playing for Iowa). Smith has scored in double figures in 23 of 24 games this season.
- J.P. Prince posted seven assists to give him 34 dishes in his last five games (6.8 apg).
- Tennessee has now won 19 of its last 21 SEC games at Thompson-Boling Arena.
- Vols held Vanderbilt to 18 points in the first half, the lowest total allowed by UT in a first half this season.
- UT has surrendered a total of 98 points in its last two games. That's the lowest consecutive two-game total allowed by the Vols since Jan. 15 and Jan. 19, 1997. (43 at Auburn and 52 vs. LSU for a total of 95 points).
- Vanderbilt's 50 points tied for its lowest offensive output this season.
- Tennessee's bench outscored Vanderbilt's 16-14. UT's bench has outscored the opponents' in 22 of 24 games this season.