The No. 22 Vols led Vanderbilt by as much as 20 points in the second half of Tuesday night’s match-up. Yet Tennessee allowed the Commodores to cut the lead all the way down to just two points late in the game, and the Vols looked to be on the verge of a complete collapse.
But Tennessee found enough in themselves to overcome a sudden blisteringly hot shooting performance by the Commodores to survive and send Vandy home with a 67-62 loss. It marked the first time the Vols had beaten Vanderbilt in Knoxville since March 1st, 2014, and it was the first time since the 2012-13 season that Tennessee completed the season sweep of the Commodores in basketball.
But the Vols’ propensity to give up leads in the second half and have partial or complete collapses has been a disturbing trend this season. And head coach Rick Barnes knows it.
Barnes spoke to the media after the Vols’ victory on Tuesday night and discussed his team’s inability to close out strong. He talked about their inconistent play, Vanderbilt’s hot shooting in the second half, and some of his players who stepped up when needed most.
Rick Barnes talks to the media after Tennessee’s five point win over Vanderbilt. https://t.co/E169QMnlkm
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) January 24, 2018