Nov. 28, 2011
The Vols lost to Oakland for the second year in a row, falling by a nearly-identical 89-82 score last year in Knoxville.
Oakland has lost just two of its last 45 games at the O'Rena as they stand 43-2 at home.
The Vols had just one second-half turnover to give them just 10 for the game.
Reggie Hamilton of Oakland was 15-of-15 from the free throw line.
Jordan McRae scored a career-high 25 points for the second game in a row.
ROCHESTER, Mich. — The Vols suffered an 89-81 loss at Oakland, as Tennessee trailed the entire game. The defending Summit League Champion Golden Grizzlies (4-2) defeated Tennessee (3-3) for the second year in a row, winning 89-82 in Knoxville last season. The Vols were down by as many 14 and cut the deficit to three on several occasions, but were not able to take a lead as OU moved to 43-2 in its last 45 home games at the O'Rena.
First-team all-conference guard Reggie Hamilton was the catalyst for the Golden Grizzlies as he tallied a career-high 35. Drew Valentine added 15 points for Oakland, which has played in the last two NCAA Tournaments.
Oakland started the game blazing from the floor, making 10 of their first 14 shots and kept the Vols at bay for the entire night. OU was stellar from the free-throw stripe making 90.3 percent in the game (28-of-31) including 14-of-14 in the final 2:17 of the game to seal the victory before a sell-out crowd.
A 3-pointer by Valentine gave Oakland a 73-65 lead with four minutes left in regulation to keep the Vols at bay. McRae made two free throws moments later to cut the margin to six. A runner by Hamilton regained the eight-point lead for OU. But a Tatum 3-pointer kept the Vols within two possessions at 75-70 with three minutes left. Valentine and Hamilton each made two free throws to expand the lead to 79-70 with 1:18 left in regulation.
McRae and Washpun both made shots in the final 51 seconds to cut the margin to six, but Oakland made its free throws to keep the advantage.
UT was within three points (62-59) when Hamilton scored five straight points to give OU a 67-59 lead with seven minutes left in regulation.
With Oakland up 10 at 52-42 with 15:23 left in the second half, the Vols reeled off five points in a row on a Jeronne Maymon lay-up and a 3-pointer by Tatum to make it 52-47 less than a minute later. After Oakland took back a double-figure lead Golden's 3-pointer with 9:18 left in the second half cut the deficit to five again, this time at 62-57. A Kenny Hall put back lay-up but the Grizzlies lead to three at 62-59 with 8:20 left, the closest UT was since being down 15-13. That Hall bucket finished a 10-4 Vols' run.
The Vols were hampered by nine turnovers in the first half as Oakland held a 39-32 lead at intermission. Down by as many as 14 on two occasions, the Vols cut the deficit to seven as McRae (13 first-half points) tallied UT's final seven points in the half.
The Grizzlies used a 16-6 run to take a 31-19 led with 4:16 left in the first half on a Drew Valentine lay-up. The lead ballooned to 14 at 35-21 as Hamilton (12 first-half points) made a pair of foul shots with 2:52 left in the first half.
Oakland came out red hot,starting 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) to grab a 25-14 lead with 9:16 left in the first half on a 7-0 run keyed by Blake Cushingberry 3-pointer. Bader had eight of the Grizzlies' first 14 points as part of the hot start for OU.
The Vols return to action on Saturday, as Tennessee hosts No. 17 Pittsburgh at 5:15 p.m. The game will air on ESPN as part of the Big East/SEC Challenge.