Dec. 17, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Jamar Briscoe scored 14 points, fed Phil Jones for the go-ahead layup with 7.4 seconds left and Charlotte handed No. 7 Tennessee its second stunning upset loss of the week, 49-48 on Friday night.
Cameron Tatum missed a desperation heave at the buzzer for the Volunteers (7-2), who followed a blowout win over then-No. 3 Pittsburgh with losses to Oakland and Charlotte.
Derrio Green added 13 points and the 49ers (5-6) overcame 30 percent shooting by using a zone defense that stymied the Volunteers into 35 percent from the field. Tennessee was 2 of 17 from 3-point range and 2 of 7 on free throws in a loss that will surely see them plummet in the rankings.
Starving for something to cheer about amid a difficult season, Charlotte fans spilled out onto the court at the buzzer in the first signature win for first-year coach Alan Major. It came just three days after top scorer Shamari Spears was dismissed from the team and following losses to Gardner-Webb, Coastal Carolina and East Carolina.
Tennessee was searching for answers after struggling all night on offense, then being unable to hold onto a 48-42 lead.
After Melvin Goins missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 19.5 seconds left, Briscoe raced into the front court and found Jones open on a defensive breakdown.
After a timeout, Tennessee couldn't get a look before time expired.
Amid a night of missed shots, Derrio Green's straightaway 3-pointer with 4:10 left put Charlotte ahead 42-41. But Hopson, who was 3-of-16 from the field, responded with his first 3, a runner in the lane and twisting layup in traffic on the next three possessions.
Hopson pounded his chest on the way down the floor after the last hoop put Tennessee ahead 48-42.
But the Vols couldn't hang on.
Javarris Barnett's 3 cut the deficit in half, and Briscoe hit two free throws with 27.9 seconds left to get Charlotte within one. Charlotte had to foul twice to get Tennessee into the penalty before Goins missed.
There were early signals offense would be a struggle: Both teams had shots lodge between the rim and backboard in the first five minutes.
Hopson missed his first eight shots and Tennessee was 0 for 10 from 3-point range in the first half, yet led 24-20.
With Charlotte's zone forcing Tennessee to settle for jumpers, the 49ers stuck around in the first half despite getting hammered on the boards and shooting 26 percent from the field.
A frustrated coach Bruce Pearl, who has five games left before he begins serving his eight-game suspension in Southeastern Conference games for violating NCAA rules, tried different combinations but found few answers.
After scoring 27 points in Tennessee's impressive win at Pittsburgh, Hopson missed six of seven shots in a home loss to Oakland Tuesday and continued to struggle against Charlotte.
Skylar McBee's 3-pointer with 8:44 left ended an 0-for-12 start and extended Tennessee's streak of hitting at least one 3 to 434 games.