The Volunteers were riding one of the hottest starts of any team, taking down Villanova last month and most recently Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. No reason for the Vols to worry about Benson and his Oakland team coming into town then, right? Well, not exactly. Oakland lost to Purdue on the road and let games against Illinois (in Champaign) and Michigan State (neutral court) slip away down the final stretch so far this season. Golden Grizzly center Keith Benson bolstered his NBA résumé with a 26-point, 10-rebound, 2-block effort, but he was helped to victory by his supporting case Larry Wright and Will Hudson (combining for 36 points, 14 rebounds and 7 assists).
Oakland was more than efficient on the offensive end, especially after turning up the heat in the second half with a 57.1% shooting, while Tennessee shot just 34.4% from the field. Several scoreless draughts cost the Vols their lead, including a 13-0 run from the 7-minute mark to just under the 2-minute mark that pushed the Golden Grizzlies ahead; during the final seven minutes, Tennessee was just 2-for-13 from the floor, 2-for-7 from the foul line and committed four turnovers, not exactly the strongest way to finish a game. Although, the Volunteers suffered from a similar collapse against Pitt where they saw their 21-point lead with 10 minutes to go shrink to just 7 at the end of the game. Tennessee shot just 3-for-10 from the field and committed 6 turnovers down the stretch.