Dec. 23, 2006
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Bruce Pearl: "We saw a team out there that displayed a lot of dimensions in order to get the victory. We were not real focused early, but it was a big basketball team win.
"We overcame an injury to our starting point guard. What can you say about Chris Lofton? He did not shoot a good percentage, he still had a double-double, and that shot at the end of regulation. We were not surprised to see it hit bottom. Lofton is an amazing weapon.
"Ramar Smith is finding his receivers. He played 38 minutes. He is smart, and he is coachable. Smith has learned from Jordan Howell, and he has learned from himself. This team is handling every aspect of a game, but they still have much growing up to do.
"We should have been down more than 15 points at halftime; our execution was so poor. I thought at that time Texas could play better, and I knew we could play better. Duke Crews told me at halftime, `I get your message.'
"When you see Wayne Chism play like he does on offense and defense, you know he is going to be a great player. Our players went up into the stands after the game and wished everybody a Merry Christmas, and thanked them for being here to support the team. Dane Bradshaw just needs some rest - he needs to go back to Memphis, and to get some home-cooking. His tank was empty at the end of the game. He will be okay."
TEXAS HEAD COACH RICK BARNES: "It was two good teams going at each other. The flow, for us, never got the way we wanted in the second half. We just could not get in the flow because of the foul trouble. We only turned it over 11 times, so we had a lot of good things happen.
"We had the game won. We just had two bad possessions. At that point, the clock is who we were playing. It would have put a little more pressure on them if we take it down. Whether we score or not, if we take another 30 or 45 seconds off of the clock, it could have been a little bit different. We had it; we just needed to finish.
"Chris Lofton has the ability to do make those shots. You have got to give him credit. He raised up and knocked it down."