Feb. 25, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl:
"In the second half, Arkansas clearly was fresher. We did not have the energy to speed things up. Their size and athleticism made a difference. We struggled with our interior defense, and got dominated under the boards. It is hard to win when the numbers come out this way.
"I played C.J. Watson too many minutes, and also Chris Lofton and Andre Patterson. I did not keep them fresh enough to make plays down the stretch. We did not turn Arkansas over a lot. It takes energy to create offense or defense, and we needed more energy.
"When Darian Townes and Vincent Hunter have such high percentages, we have not done our job. It is hard to get good looks because of Arkansas' size and length. We took too many uncharacteristic shots. We gave away size at almost every position and it was a factor. We try to wear our opponents down, but Arkansas wore us down. We were popped.
"Arkansas is a very good team, and they could of get into the NCAA Tournament and make some noise this year."
ARKANSAS HEAD COACH STAN HEATH:
"It was an incredible win for us. We have not exactly been killing people on the road; so winning against probably the best team in the league - and a Top 10 team - is really a credit to our team. I am really proud of the way the kids never quit and never stopped fighting. They stayed together and a lot of guys made some big, big plays for us.
"The keys in the game were we had to win the battle of possessions, we did a phenomenal job on the rebounding end, and we also did not give the ball away. We only had 10 turnovers for the game, and just three in the second half.
"We strapped it up defensively and we finally settled down to a point where if we did not have a fast break, we ran our offense. When we were taking quick shots, hurried shots, it allowed them to score in transition. We played smarter and we played tougher, and at the end of the game, I thought we had a little more in our tank.
"We have battled all season long and have had a lot of tough games that did not go our way. These last three fortunately have gone in our favor. If you were looking on our schedule and said we were going to win all three (Florida, Alabama, Tennessee), I am not sure many people would have believed that. It shows you we have always been right there. I would not have thought we were going to win all three, but I would not bet against us right now."
- C.J. Watson wore No. 53 today to honor former UT All-America Bernard King during the SEC's Throwback Week.
- JaJuan Smith matched his career high with seven rebounds.
- Tennessee saw its 15-game home winning streak snapped.
- UT was out-rebounded by 21, its largest deficit of the season. During this season, both Louisiana-Lafayette and LSU out-rebounded the Vols by 18.