With the game knotted at 61 and three seconds left in the game Tennessee inbounded the ball to Chris Lofton who had been a pitiful 1-7 from behind the arc this afternoon. Lofton took the ball just inside the three point arc, faded out of bounds and then chucked up an impossible shot with Torrell Martin right in his grill.
Nothing but net and Lofton was able to change his status in Knoxville from chump to hero with one shot.
The Eagles were able to hold Tennessee to 10 points in the last ten minutes of the game but the problem was their anemic offense. How bad did things get for the Eagles? Winthrop was unable to score in the last three and half minutes of the game and were held to just three points in the last 11 minutes of the game. This was a game that the underdog Winthrop had a golden chance to win but they started to play tight in the second half and they weren’t able to pull off the upset.
Torrell Martin turned in an inspired performance for the Eagles as the gutsy guard for Winthrop scored 14 points and grabbed a season high 11 boards. The kid showed a lot of heart locking down Vols guard Chris Lofton for the majority of the game.
Tennessee limped into the tournament after going 1-3 in their last four games and they showed hoop fans today they aren’t worthy of a #2 seed in this tournament. I’d like to say that the good news for Vols fans is that your team will match-up with Witchita State but after the way that they played this afternoon it won’t matter who they are playing.
If Bruce Pearl’s kids can’t find a way to score some easy baskets they’ll be making an early exit from the Tournament Saturday afternoon.
Thu 03/16/06, 5:50 pm EST