Dec. 2, 2009
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "We played well enough to win, which is what I obviously want to try to do considering Thanksgiving and finals and the practice schedule. It's really been important for our guys to hunker down in the classroom. We've got a bunch of guys having good semesters.
"Offensively, I thought we handled the ball well with 22 assists and only six turnovers. We had a tough matchup. They were so much stronger than us, and they spread us out some and penetrated and pitched and created some constantly tough matchups. We finished around the basket and scored more of our inside shots, which was probably the place to go against a team that we had superior size against. I did think that in the second half when we pressed them that it picked us up a little bit.
"They had only 24 baskets and eight assists, which means that 16 times they made a one-on-one play. We need a little more of that to help our offense. I thought we had some one-on-one plays, we just didn't finish."
EAST TENNESSEE STATE HEAD COACH MURRY BARTOW: "I thought we fought hard and competed hard. I am really proud of our effort. We were just a little short at the end. We were playing one of the top 10 teams in the nation on their home floor. We are not very big, Mike Smith is not healthy - so I was proud of the effort, proud of the fight. We came up just a little bit short.
"They have really good players, and I mean really good players. We fought incredibly hard and did all we could do. There were just a few missed free-throw blockouts at the end, a few missed opportunities offensively where we did not probably execute as well as we needed to. But 13 turnovers - ask Austin Peay and East Carolina - which had 29 and 35 against these guys; so 13 turnovers is pretty good. We rebounded with them, we were right there, toe-to-toe with them; we just could not quite get over the hump at the end period.
- The Vols improve to 6-1 on the season and 11-3 all-time vs. ETSU, winning the last six in a row in the series.
- Tennessee improves to 21-4 vs. in-state opponents under Bruce Pearl and 32-2 in non-conference home games under the fifth-year head coach.
- Tennessee's six turnovers were their fewest since playing at Florida March 1, 2009 (6 turnovers). The Vols converted 13 ETSU turnovers into 21 points, while surrendering just six points off miscues.
- Tyler Smith entered the game ranked atop the SEC in assist to turnover ratio at 4.4. He added four assists and did not commit a turnover in the game.
- Senior forward Wayne Chism grabbed nine rebounds, which gives him 709 for his career. That number ranks 11th in program history. He also moved from 28th to 27th in school history in scoring. He now has 1,227 career points.
- Freshman guard Skylar McBee connected on a career-high three three-point baskets in the game.
- Sophomore guard Scotty Hopson tied his career high with six rebounds and attempted a career-high eight 3-pointers.