After Wednesday night's 64-53 loss to Tennessee, Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson might want to see about putting Jannero Pargo's picture on the side of a milk carton.
Pargo, the SEC's third-highest scorer at 17.8 points a game, was nowhere to be found until the last five minutes of the second half, when he hit three-straight buckets to bring the Razorbacks within six. But the senior guard finished with just 10 points on just 4-of-11 shooting.
"He didn't hit for his average," Tennessee forward Marcus Haislip said. "That's what coach told us and that's what we did. He's a great player and he hit some good shots at the end of the game, but the main thing was we kept him under his average."
The same could be said for both teams' offense during a scoreless stretch that lasted for more than four minutes early in the second half, when the Vols and Razorbacks both shot 33 percent from the field.
After a going without a field goal for more than six minutes in the second half, Vols forward Vincent Yarbrough broke the drought with a 3-pointer to put the Vols (13-11, 6-5 SEC) up 11 points with 9:41 left in the second half.
Arkansas (12-11, 4-7) would cut the lead to six with 4:25 remaining on Pargo's 3-pointer, but the Razorbacks never got any closer.
Forward Matt Jones said the Hogs could have used more from their senior leader.
"He's a big time player for us," Jones said. "I know and this team knows he's got to step up for us to do well."
Tennessee jumped out to an early lead, up 17-5 nearly six minutes into the game before a Carl Baker jumper closed the gap to four with 9:44 left in the half, but the Vols would rally and lead by as many as 11 on their way to a 41-31 halftime advantage.
Arkansas shot just 33 percent from the field in the opening half despite taking 36 shots to Tennessee's 19.
"(Richardson) came in at halftime and said we'd shot the ball 36 times," Jones said. "If you shoot the ball 36-19 you're supposed to win. It just wasn't our night tonight."
For the Vols it was another night of coming together and playing unselfish basketball.
"What these guys have done in the last month or so is that we're playing consistently as a team," Tennessee coach Buzz Peterson said. "The ball was well-distributed and the chemistry is really clicking."
While Peterson said he satisfied with his team's effort, which he said should leave his squad in good shape to face No. 7 Alabama on Saturday.
"I like the pace of the game, it's what I wanted," he said. "Because if we start going up and down with Arkansas we would have worn our legs out and it would have been tough to play Saturday."
With the win, Tennessee takes one step closer to earning a postseason berth in either the NCAA tournament or the NIT, but Peterson said he hasn't even addressed the topic with his players.
"I've never even discussed the postseason with them," he said. "I've not said one word about it. I've basically told them one game at a time. Two or three weeks ago, I was a psychologist really, trying to get them up and ready to play. I commend them. We've been through a lot this year, it would be nice if that would happen for us."
Published: Thu Feb 14, 2002 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 04:05 p.m.