KNOXVILLE - Without its leading scorer, Tennessee is struggling to score.
But the Volunteers are to make a second-half comeback against visiting Alabama, they will have to shore up their defense.
The SEC-leading Crimson Tide lead UT 38-27 at half behind 67 percent (16-of-24) shooting. Alabama has scored 28 points in the paint and eight points in transition. After making four of its first five shots, UT is shooting just 37 percent (11-of-30) against the SEC's best defense.
With Scotty Hopson missing his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle, Tobias Harris leads UT with seven points, and Cameron Tatum and Skylar McBee have six apiece. Tony Mitchell leads Alabama with 13 points off the bench, and the Tide have gotten eight points from JaMychal Green and nine more from freshman point guard Trevor Releford.
Alabama went on a 6-0 spurt midway through the half to take a five-point lead and stretched the advantage to 12 just before halftime.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...