Following the loss at Auburn, the Tennessee Volunteers (15-13, 7-8 SEC) found themselves on the road again, taking on the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville (18-10, 6-9 SEC).
Tennessee entered the game as a 4.5-point favorite against Arkansas, according to Odds Shark. The Vols defeated the Razorbacks earlier this month by 21 points at home. However, this time the Vols found themselves on the receiving end of a blowout loss.
The Vols’ second matchup against the Razorbacks looked different right from tip-off. Arkansas quickly took a 9-1 lead within the first four minutes of regulation. Tennessee was unable to score a field goal until the 15:02 mark in the first half with Arkansas leading 14-3.
Tennessee continued to struggle to control the ball, and the Vols turned the ball over five times in the first 8 minutes of regulation. With the Volunteers’ offense struggling, Arkansas increased their lead to 35-20 with 3:49 left in the half.
The Volunteers were unable to gain any momentum before going into the half trailing 40-27. Tennessee finished the first half shooting only 37% from the field, along with ten turnovers. The Razorbacks shot 46.2% from the field with only three turnovers.
Arkansas started off the second half with a quick bucket, increasing their lead to 42-27. However, the Volunteers’ offense found their rhythm and went on an 11-0 run, cutting the Razorback lead to four with 16:28 remaining in the second half. Arkansas was able to stop the Vols’ run with a layup, increasing their lead to 44-38.
Tennessee’s offense continued their hot second half start, cutting the lead down to two following a Jordan Bowden lay up. However, the Razorbacks were able to counter the Tennessee score with an and-one play. The Volunteers trailed 48-43 with 13:37 left in the second half.
Following two Tennessee turnovers, Arkansas hit two 3-pointers, increasing their lead to 11. Tennessee would answer with a layup, but Arkansas answered right back with a layup of their own. The Razorbacks started off the half shooting just 2-of-11 but quickly hit their last four shots.
The Razorbacks continued to find the bottom of the basket, increasing their lead to 70-54 with 7:06 remaining in the second half.
Arkansas guard Mason Jones was the main reason for the hot Razorback offense. Jones finished with a game-high 37 points on 11-of-19 shooting.
“Mason Jones was terrific. We had no answer for him,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said when discussing the big performance from the Arkansas guard.
Ultimately, Jones and the Razorbacks proved to be too much for the Volunteers, and Tennessee fell 86-69 on the road.
The Volunteers will have under three days to prepare for the Florida Gators (17-10, 9-5 SEC) at home on Saturday. Tip off on Feb. 29 in Thompson-Boling Arena is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Edited by Christian Knox and Ryan Sylvia
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics