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“Cold-Blooded” Bowden’s Big Shot Helps Lift Vols

Photo Credit: Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics

Maybe it’s premature to call him Big Shot Bowden just yet.

But Tennessee freshman guard Jordan Bowden buried what could turn out to be a tournament-saving 3-pointer in the closing moments against Ole Miss on Wednesday evening at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The shots hadn’t been falling for him consistently up to that point.

Coming into the final minute, Bowden’s line was a very modest 2-of-7 from the floor and 1-of-5 from the free-throw line as the Vols watched Ole Miss lead for over 23 minutes on Wednesday. With UT down five at the 4:40 mark, he missed a pair of important free throws. Down two with 2:58 to go, Bowden missed what would’ve been a go-ahead 3-pointer at that point.

But with the Vols clinging to a slim two-point lead as the clock ran down towards the one-minute mark, point guard Lamonte Turner drew an extra defender from the Ole Miss 1-3-1 zone look, kicked the ball over to Bowden on his left, and set up a massive game-sealing 3-pointer.

“He is a little bit cold-blooded,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said of Bowden after the game. “He has a short memory, which most good players do. Good players have real short memories. I know one thing and that is he is one guy we don’t have to talk into shooting the ball. Shembari Phillips isn’t shooting with confidence and you want guys shooting with confidence. Jordan Bowden will do that.

“He has that attitude where he can’t make the next one if he doesn’t shoot it. He is drawing the other team’s best offensive player now so he has had to work harder than he has ever had to work offensively. He gave up one in the first half. It was a three where he fell asleep and he relaxed for a second and they burned him on it. Coaches felt like he needed to come out of the game and I asked, ‘How are you?’ and he gave me a thumbs up so he stayed in the game and finished it.”

Finished it with a bang, to be exact.

There’s still a lot of work for Tennessee to do to make the NCAA tournament, but that shot could be one to remember come March. Call him cold-blooded for now, and maybe Big Shot Bowden if he can keep hitting them.

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