The Tennessee Vols basketball team came into today’s matchup against their former coach Bruce Pearl and his 10-1 Auburn Tigers ranked 23 in the nation after falling in overtime to the Arkansas Razorbacks in its first SEC matchup of the season.
Tennessee had a comfortable 14-point lead to open the first half, and things looked to be going smoothly after the heartbreaking loss on Saturday. But late in the period, Tennessee started to turn the ball over, and the Tigers took advantage and took a six-point lead after going on a 23-6 run to close the half.
The second half looked promising for the orange and white. Grant Williams, who only had one field goal in the first half, started the second period hot, knocking down three of his first four shots.
The game was back-and-forth for the majority of the half as the lead changed hands nine times.
Auburn began to pull ahead with around four and a half minutes to play when they started forcing turnovers and pulling down offensive rebounds.
The Tigers, a team that shoots 38 percent from three, started the game 4-for-25 from three but were able to knock down three in a row to extend their lead.
While the start of the season was strong for head coach Rick Barnes and his Volunteers, they have started SEC play 0-2.
Things do not get any easier for Tennessee going forward. They see Kentucky at home on Saturday before facing off against in-state rival Vanderbilt. Following that game, the Vols will take on No. 11 Texas A&M.
Tennessee needs to get back to playing the way they did to open the season if they want to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.