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Vols Win Without Pearl, Hopson At Auburn

Without its head coach — due to suspension — and without its leading scorer — due to an ankle sprain — Tennessee ventured into the new Auburn Arena to face a Tony Barbee squad coming off its first SEC win of the season.

Everything pointed toward an AU win, right?  Wrong. 

As was proven when winless-on-the-road Arkansas topped unbeaten-at-home Vandy last weekend, the SEC is a difficult place to make predictions this season.

Tennessee grabbed an early lead and coasted for much of the game to a 69-56 victory on The Plains last night.  The Vols didn’t miss Scotty Hopson’s 16.5 points per game and instead won with size inside and a balanced attack.  Brian Williams and Cameron Tatum each scored 15 for UT while freshman Tobias Harris added 14.

Inside, the Vols simply had too much size for the Tigers.  And Auburn’s cause was hurt when center Rob Chubb was suspended prior to the game for an undisclosed violation of team rules.  He scored 18 points to lead AU to its win at South Carolina last Saturday.

“It’s a matter of two different level programs,” Barbee said.  “Tennessee is a good team, they’re huge, and they overwhelmed us on the backboard tonight.”

Barbee wasn’t happy with his team’s attitude.  “Why you’d be scared of another college player… how could you be scared?  That’s how we played.  Not everybody, but we had a majority of guys that played scared tonight.”

The Vols are now 5-2 without head coach Bruce Pearl, having won five straight league games after an 0-2 start to his suspension.  Assistant head coach Tony Jones might be playing his way into a head coaching job somewhere after the season (depending, of course, on NCAA penalties/suspensions for UT, Pearl and possibly himself).

West-leading Alabama visits Knoxville tomorrow for a key SEC showdown.

As for Auburn, Chubb is “suspended indefinitely” and “he’s suspended from all team activities,” according to his coach.  “We were starting to gain a nice rhythm with Rob, and he was starting to gain an offensive threat.  Not having that tonight was a big one.  Whoever plays in his place has to step up to the opportunity.”

The Tigers travel to Georgia tomorrow.

 


1 comments
Cal
Cal

Watching the game on ESPN last night I could hear the Auburn student section yelling "You Suck" every time a Tennessee player left the game and sat down on the bench. I was thinking the whole game why are they yelling "you suck" every time a Tennessee player leaves the court and the guy just dunked on an Auburn player to put Tennessee up 20 plus points again? I would think it would be wise and classy to end that phrase immediately since the only thing that sucks in that new arena is the Auburn basketball team. Auburn fans can chant "you suck" to the other team all you want at football games because you just won it all, but doing it at your basketball games just seems classless and ignorant. Come on Auburn.



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