MADDENING MARCH: Vols upset by Loyola-Chicago for Sweet 16 bid, 63-62
DALLAS (UT Athletics) — No. 3 seed Tennessee’s season came to an end on Saturday night, as the Vols suffered a heartbreaking loss to 11th-seeded Loyola-Chicago, 63-62, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Vols (26-9) made one last push at the end of the game, using an 8-0 run to take a 62-61 lead with 20 seconds remaining in the game, capped off by a three-point play from SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams.
But Loyola’s Clayton Custer knocked down a 10-foot jumper with 3.6 seconds left on the clock to regain the lead. Without no timeouts remaining, UT point guard Jordan Bone caught the ball near midcourt, sprinted to the 3-point arc and launched a contested three in heavy traffic that bounced off the rim as time expired.
The Big Orange had four players score in double-digits, as All-SEC wing Admiral Schofield led the way with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Williams finished 14 points, while Bone chipped in 13 and SEC Co-Sixth Man of the Year Lamonte Turner finished with 10.
Tennessee was hot out of the gates, opening the game on a 15-6 run that was capped off by a steal from Schofield, who took it the length of the court for a dunk. He had 11 of the points during the early run that concluded at the 15:37 mark as the Ramblers were forced to call a timeout.
Loyola-Chicago responded with a 23-10 swing after that timeout to take a 29-25 lead into halftime. UT struggled to connect on the offensive end of the floor during the opening 20 minutes, hitting only four of its final 18 shots in the half.
Schofield was forced to sit out a significant portion of the first half after picking up two fouls early in the frame and was unable to be a factor during Loyola’s run.
Tennessee was unable to consistently stop the Ramblers (30-5) on the offensive end of the floor, as LUC shot 50 percent (22-of-44) from the field in the game.