Dec. 30, 2004
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH Buzz Peterson:
"It was a tough loss. You just would not expect to miss free throws considering who we had at the line.
"I did not like the way we came out at the start of the game; I thought we were lax. In the second half, though, I thought we had a good mental attitude. Give Nebraska credit for hanging in there, and for hitting its free throws when needed.
"When Brandon Crump hit his 3-pointer, I thought we had the game in hand. It was unfortunate that we fouled a man who was 35 feet away from the basket in the closing seconds. The 3-point situation was a fluke; the ball was all over the court. But basketball is a game where the ball bounces funny sometimes.
"I told the guys after the game that we have got to move on, and for them to come in tomorrow and expect to go forward. It was uncharacteristic of our team to lose a game this way. It was very disappointing.
"More than the missed free-throws, I was bothered by the dunk that Nebraska scored right after we had our dunk. That really troubles me."
NEBRASKA HEAD COACH BARRY COLLIER:
"We've been on the other end of these kinds of games. I thought our guys attacked and defended hard. We were able to come back when Marcus Neal made the great pass to Jason Dourisseau. It could have gone either way. It was a game that went our way.
"We have not gotten as much over 40 minutes of the games as we need to have. We have to figure out how we have to play. You get beat, and you learn by losing. We have to see the effort we need to have and learn from it. If we make the 3-pointers, and the plays inside, we could have put the game away. We are fortunate they missed the free throws. We had a nice lead, not the lead that could put the game away. Then Brandon Crump heated up. I am disappointed we were not able to finish a lot of times tonight. There is probably a big celebration in that dressing room, followed by a big sign of relief.
"Marcus Neal is shooting 82 percent from the free-throw line. He stepped up and made them. He had missed the front end earlier, but he wants the ball, and knocked the three free throws down late in the game. That's his mentality.
"You never know what is inside somebody's head. I am confident we are moving in the direction we want to be. Tennessee can, too, if they make their free throws. Our guys know what kind of numbers we are looking for. With 80 possessions, we ought to have 75 or 80 points. We worked hard on rebounding since Christmas since we knew it would be a big factor late in the game. I thought the time off was a positive. There was plenty of time to see what we had."
- C.J. Watson had a season-high 10 assists. Watson also had 10 assists in an exhibition win against Tusculum Nov. 5, 2004. He had nine assists against Alabama State Dec. 14, 2004.
- C.J. Watson again led all Vols in assists, the eighth time he has led all Vols.
- Brandon Crump was 7-9 from the floor in the second half, including a 3-pointer to lead all Vol scorers with 19 points. For the first time since the Xavier game (Dec. 11, 2004), Crump led all Volunteer scorers.
- Tennessee is now 11-11 all-time against current members of the Big-12, including an 0-2 slate this season. The Vols are 1-2 all-time against teams from the state of Nebraska, winning 34-28 against Creighton in 1937.
- Tennessee tied a season-high 19 assists tonight, tying the Alabama State game (Dec. 14, 2004).