USC Hands Tennessee Third Straight Loss
The past eight days, however, have been a disaster for the No. 19 Volunteers. A home loss to Oakland followed by a loss to Charlotte left them reeling. Tuesday night, Tennessee (7-3) lost 65-64 to USC (7-5).
A Donte Smith 3-pointer gave USC a 65-60 lead with 2:13 left. The Volunteers would convert four free throws, but that was the extent of the scoring from that point forward. Tobias Harris -- UT's leader for the night with 14 points -- did get off a deep three as time expired, but it was no good.
Another Scotty Hopson off-night was a big part of the problem for Tennessee. The junior was averaging 18.7 points per game through the first seven wins, but he's scored just 28 (9.33 a game) in the past three. He's connected on just eight of his 31 shots in that time span, too. Tuesday night, he was 1-of-5 from the floor for eight points.
Four players scored in double figures for the visiting Trojans. Maurice Jones had 15 points, while Alex Stepheson and Jio Fontan added 13. Bryce Jones came off the bench to contribute 11.
USC survived with the one-point victory despite being outrebounded 38-23 and outscored from the free throw line, 24-6. The key was forcing 18 turnovers and shooting the ball much better than Tennessee (USC shot 47 percent, UT just 38 percent).