January 29, 2011 11:09:00 PM
OXFORD -- Brian Williams scored 18 points and Scotty Hopson had 16 Saturday afternoon to lead the University of Tennessee men''s basketball team to a 74-57 victory against the University of Mississippi at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Cameron Tatum had 13 points after halftime for the Volunteers (14-7, 4-2 Southeastern Conference), who went on a 16-4 run midway through the second half to take a 60-49 lead and never trailed again.
Tennessee''s run was a complete team effort as five different players scored, led by five points from Tatum.
"That was real important to get us going and give us some confidence going into the last couple minutes of the game," Tennessee freshman forward Tobias Harris said.
Senior guard Chris Warren led Ole Miss (13-8, 1-5) with 16 points, while sophomore forward Reginald Buckner had eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy described his team''s offensive performance as a nightmare. Tennessee held Ole Miss to a season-low scoring output on 26.7-percent shooting.
"You have to make some shots," Kennedy said. "Tennessee is a physical team; Tennessee is a good team. We had opportunities and when you shoot 26 percent from the field, it''s going to make for a long night and that''s what we just experienced."
Said Warren, "We just didn''t make shots. I thought we had good looks, but we just came up on the short end," Warren said. "It happens, unfortunately it happened to us. It would have been better if it happened to Tennessee, but we''re going to try and put this game behind us and prepare for Kentucky."
Tennessee converted 43.3 percent of its shots.
Led by Williams'' 7-for-8 shooting from the floor, the Volunteers controlled the post play by scoring 46 points in the paint and pulling down 21 offensive rebounds.
Ole Miss only scored 24 points in the paint.
"Brian did a great job down there with 18 and nine (rebounds)," Harris said.
The leaders on the boards for Tennessee were Harris and Williams, who recorded game-highs of 12 and nine rebounds respectively.
Late in the first half, Ole Miss pieced together a 15-7 run of its own to take a 32-30 lead, but Williams scored on a put-back as time expired at the half to tie the game at 32-32.
Asked where his team is mentally, Kennedy said he wasn''t sure.
"I would have never in a million years thought we would have come out as flat," he said. "I don''t want to overanalyze and when you don''t make shots in this business it''s going to make for a long night.
"We have lost two of our three SEC losses in this building when we were held to 60 and 58 points. This team is not built, nor is anyone, to win basketball games if you can not score more than 60 points."
Warren had his consecutive free-throws mark snapped at 36, one short of tying the Ole Miss school record.
Rebel junior forward Terrance Henry arrived in Oxford approximately an hour before the game after returning from Monroe, La., where he witnessed the birth of his son Terrance Henry Jr.
2. Victory Christian's Williams stays local to play basketball at MUW HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
5. Caledonia's Mims picks Copiah-Lincoln C.C. in baseball HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS