KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Frustrated after Tennessee's last loss,
coach Buzz Peterson punished his players by taking away their
practice jerseys because he didn't think they deserved to wear
anything with the school's name on it.
The Volunteers raced to a big lead in the first half Wednesday
night and held on to stun Mississippi State (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 11 AP) 64-63 and end
the nation's longest road winning streak.
The Volunteers (9-6, 2-1 Southeastern Conference), who lost
their last game by 25 points at home to Vanderbilt, led nearly the
entire way to snap the Bulldogs' eight-game overall winning streak.
Mississippi State's 16-game road winning streak started after a
loss at Tennessee in March 2003.
A win seemed improbable for the Vols since they also had lost to
Chattanooga and Nebraska at home.
"We needed the win badly," Peterson said. "On the jersey
deal, I just did not feel we were playing hard enough to wear the
Tennessee uniform. I would not even let them wash their jerseys. I
told them I was not going to spend university money to wash their
Tennessee befuddled Mississippi State (14-3, 2-1) in the first
half and led by 16 at halftime. But the Bulldogs made several runs
in the second half and had several chances to win at the end.
Power had another 3 that trimmed it to a point with 50 seconds
to go. Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury called a timeout, and
Crump missed on the other end for Tennessee, giving the Bulldogs a
Mississippi State got the ball with 7.4 seconds to go, and
Patterson batted the ball out on the inbounds pass. The Bulldogs
inbounded again, and Ontario Harper missed a jumper. Tennessee's
Dane Bradshaw got the rebound but lost it out of bounds, stopping
the clock at 2 seconds. On the inbounds, Roberts missed a jumper at
Roberts led Mississippi State with 22 points and 13 rebounds and
Power had 17 points.
"You learn from it. You cannot wait until the last 15
minutes," Stansbury said. "We did not play defense and execute.
We did not score, and we did not have any stops."
The Vols celebrated their first win over a team ranked 11th or
higher since beating then-No. 7 Kentucky in February 2002.
"We were very fortunate at the end to get this win," Peterson
said. "They were a little bit tired and winded at the end. So were
The Tennessee players said they liked Peterson's harsher
treatment and believed it made a difference.
"He challenged us. It was good for us as a team to see what it
really means to be a Tennessee basketball player and be able to put
on a uniform every day," Crump said. "We tried to come out with a
lot of energy."
Tennessee started strong, looking prepared and organized, and
led by as many as 18 in the game. Point guard C.J. Watson helped
control the game and had nine assists and nine points.
The Vols led 42-26 at halftime -- only the third time Mississippi
State had trailed at the break.
Mississippi State was playing its first game without guard
Winsome Frazier, the Bulldogs' top 3-point shooter and
second-leading scorer. He broke his left foot during a win over
Mississippi over the weekend.
Jamall Edmondson started in his place and finished with six
"You can see the difference without Frazier," Stansbury said.
"With Frazier out, it is not the points as much as defense and
execution. We will get the points."