Dec. 14, 2013
WICHITA, Kansas -- In a game that was within two possessions for the first 34 minutes, Tennessee suffered a 70-61 loss at #12/8 Wichita State on Saturday afternoon. The Vols were vying for the second road win in the nation over a current Top 15 team this season.
The Shockers averaged their loss in Knoxville last season as the Vols ended their 9-0 start to the 2012-13 campaign. On Saturday, Wichita State moved to 10-0 for its best start in school history.
The Vols (6-3) were led by senior Jordan McRae, who scored 26, including his 1,000th career point to become the 45th Vol in history to reach the plateau. He was the only Tennessee player to score in double-figures. Jeronne Maymon had nine points and nine rebounds.
The lead changed hands 14 times in the game and the contest was never separated by more than five points for the game's first 34:40.
The Shockers were led by Tekele Cotton (19) and Cleanthony Early (13). Cotton scored all 19 of his points in the second half. Darius Carter came off the bench for a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Wichita State used a 16-5 run to take a 58-49 lead with 4:47 left in regulation. After a pair of dunks by Jarnell Stokes -- his first points of the game -- which gave the Vols a 44-41 lead with 10 minutes left in the game, the Shockers took control.
Wichita State scored the next eight points to regain the lead at 49-44 with 8:47 left. A 3-point play by Cotton with 9:04 left in the game was the turning point -- as it put the Shockers ahead for good, 46-44.
McRae ended the spurt with a 3-pointer, making it 49-47. McRae then scored his 1,000th career point on a free throw with 6:50 left in regulation. That cut the deficit to two at 51-49.
Cotton's 3-pointer with 5:43 left put Wichita State ahead 54-49. The Shockers continued to score as Cotton made a pair of free throws and Chadrick Lufile made a layup with 4:47 left.
A 3-pointer by Early was the final dagger for the Shockers, putting WSU ahead by 12 with 2:46 remaining, 63-51.
After a thunderous one-handed tomahawk dunk by McRae, he was whistled for a technical foul after his post-dunk reaction. Ron Baker made both free throws to put WSU ahead, 41-38 with 12:45 left in the second.
Wichita State took the first five-point lead of the game at 39-34, five minutes into the second half on a tip-in by Cotton
Tennessee held a 26-25 lead at halftime in a physical battle that was never separated by more than four points. McRae led all scorers with 11 points.
The Vols held the lead despite Stokes not scoring in the first half, playing 11 minutes before picking up his second foul and being relegated to the bench for the final six minutes of the half. Fellow front-court mate Maymon had just four points (one field goal) as the duo combined to play 27 minutes.
Freshman A.J. Davis scored six points in a row (on a 3-point play and a 3-point field goal) for the Vols to put Tennessee ahead 22-19 with 9:19 left in the first half.
The game was separated by one possession for the final 12:46 of the first half. Neither team scored for the last 2:28.
The Vols return to action on Wednesday as ACC foe NC State comes to Thompson-Boling Arena for a 7 p.m. matchup. That game airs on ESPNU and can be heard on the Vol Network.