Dec. 16, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "We beat a really good basketball team this afternoon. We were hard to guard, especially on our 3-pointers where JaJuan Smith and Chris Lofton were both hitting. With Dane Bradshaw banged up and our freshmen playing poorly, it was up to Ryan Childress to come through for us up front. Childress had 10 rebounds, and that was very important to us. Both Duke Crews and Wayne Chism are terrific players.
"Seeing Ramar Smith grow and mature and use his athleticism is encouraging. He had a few turnovers, but otherwise played a very good game. Tony Passley's attitude is terrific. He is ready when called on, but right now he is the tenth man on our team.
"On defense, although we were far from perfect with Western Kentucky hitting 52 percent in the second half, we did a good job of focusing our attention on their guards. They are a good 3-point shooting team. Our guards are better defensively than they were last year.
"We did our best to limit the shooting of Courtney Lee, and we were glad he only had 13 shots. Lofton is hunting for his shot and not missing. He is playing solid defense.
"Western Kentucky never panicked. They hung in there, and that is the way a good team does."
WESTERN KENTUCKY HEAD COACH DARRIN HORN: "When you play this level of competition, we do not have a team that is quite ready yet to make the mistakes we are making and be able to win. Tonight, every time we got close we made a mistake that against this caliber of competition is going to kill you.
"We rebounded the ball much better. Our inside presence was much more effective, which is something we have struggled with. But we had 21 turnovers and you just can not win on the road against the SEC and have those kinds of numbers.
"The difference was experience. When we did go zone, they got some looks and it seemed like they made every one of them."
Chris Lofton scored 32 points, marking the third time in the last four games he has score 30 or more points.
- It is the fourth time this season and sixth time in his career he has scored at least 30 points.
- Lofton made at least five 3-pointers for the fifth time this season.
- He has scored at least 20 points in four straight games.
Tennessee forced 21 turnovers tonight, marking the eighth time this season the Vols have forced at least 20.
Ramar Smith scored a career-high 15 points. (Previous: 8 vs. UNC Wilmington)
Ryan Childress recorded a career-high 10 rebounds. (Previous: 5 done three times)
JaJuan Smith scored a career-high tying 21 points (Matched 21 vs. UNC Wilmington)