Vols Upend Tigers, 66-62
Feb. 24, 2008
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Volunteers' Tyler Smith hit a turnaround jumper in the lane with 26.5 seconds left and No. 2 Tennessee knocked off the nation's last unbeaten team, edging top-ranked Memphis 66-62 on Saturday night.
Tennessee (25-2) won on a night when star guard Chris Lofton scored only 7 points, beating the Tigers with a strong performance on the boards. Lofton did finish it off, though, hitting a couple of free throws with 4.5 seconds to go after Memphis intentionally missed at the line.
Memphis (26-1) lost at home for the first time since Jan. 2, 2006, ending the nation's longest home winning streak at 47 games.
"We've just got to learn from it. We lost," Robert Dozier said. "They just out-toughed us. They get every loose ball, every offensive rebound. They just outplayed us."
Smith scored 16 points to lead the Vols, while Wayne Chism and J.P. Prince added 13 apiece. But Tennessee did its best work on the boards, overpowering the Tigers with a season-high 50 rebounds. Memphis had 34.
The Tigers were up when Smith took a pass from Lofton, backed in and hit the jumper for a 62-61 lead. Antonio Anderson missed for Memphis at the other end, and the Tigers were forced to foul.
"I really don't even remember," Smith said. "I just remember the shot going in."
Prince hit a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game, and Tennessee wisely fouled before Memphis could go for a tying 3. Instead, Derrick Rose made the first attempt in a 1-and-1, but had to miss the second intentionally, in hopes the Tigers could grab the rebound.
Tennessee came down with it and Lofton was fouled. He only went 2-of-11 from the field, but calmly sank the two foul shots that finished off the Tigers' perfect record.
Rose led Memphis with 23 points, but Chris Douglas-Roberts was the only other player in double figures with 14 points.
The Tigers looked in good shape when Douglas-Roberts scored on a layup with 2:28 left, putting his team up 61-58.
Then Smith went to work. He answered with a drive of his own, pulling the Vols to 61-60, then hit the game winner - but only after Memphis squandered three chances on one possession to extend the margin.
Doneal Mack missed a 3, but the Tigers grabbed a long rebound. Rose missed, and Memphis chased it down again. Finally, after playing without the ball for some 90 seconds, the Vols finally grabbed it away off an attempt by Dozier that banged off the front of the rim.