49ers score 86 -- and lose by 35 to Tennessee

The team made good on nearly half of their 65 shots from the field and hit a staggering 57% of 21 three-point attempts. They had 28 rebounds, and their bench contributed 18 points on their way to a total of 86 points for the game, which incidentally, is the same number as the average points scored by No. 1 seed North Carolina.

And they were on the wrong side of a blowout.

As good as Long Beach State's stats were in yesterday's first round match up against Tennessee, they blanched in comparison to those compiled by a Volunteer team firing on all cylinders for the entire 40 minutes. 86 points by the 49ers? Great. Fantastic. 121 points by the Volunteers? Stupefying.

Final Stats
 
Tennessee
Long Beach State
Field Goals
43-73 (59%)
32-65 (49%)
3-Point FGs
14-27 (52%)
12-21 (57%)
Free Throws
21-30 (70%)
10-14 (71%)
Rebounds
43 (16 off, 27 def)
28 (9 off, 19 def)
Assists
25
11
Turnovers
6
13
Assist/Turnover Ratio
4.16
.86
Points off Turnovers
22
7
Steals
11
2
Fastbreak Points
15
4
Bench Points
32
18

Are you kidding me? An assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.16? Google "best NCAA men's basketball assist to turnover ratio" and you'll get a bunch of results indicating that a 2.0 -2.5 assist to turnover ratio is really good. But a 4.16? Stellar. Unheard of. (By the way, CBS Sportsline, this would be helpful, but returns an error.)

As the assist-to-turnover ratio suggests, everybody got into the action. Five Vols scored double digits (Lofton (25), J. Smith (24), R. Smith (22), Crews (12), Chism (10), and the team shattered into indiscernible pieces a truck full of Tennessee records in the NCAA Tournament:

UT NCAA TOURNAMENT TEAM RECORDS BROKEN
Category Record Previous Mark
Points 121 97 vs. Eastern Kentucky (3/9/79)
FG Made 43 36 (twice) last vs. Furman (3/6/80)
FG Pct 58.9 56.8 (21-37) vs. Marquette (3/18/83)
3-pt FG Made 14 10 (twice) last vs. Wichita State (3/18/06)
3-pt FG Pct 51.9 41.2 (7-17) vs. Connecticut (3/19/00)
Turnovers 6 8 (twice) last vs. Connecticut (3/19/00)
Points (1st half) 57 44 vs. Eastern Kentucky (3/9/79)
Points (2nd half) 64 53 vs. Eastern Kentucky (3/9/79)
UT NCAA TOURNAMENT INDIVIDUAL RECORDS BROKEN/TIED
3-pt FG Pct 66.7 (4-6) by JaJuan Smith 50.0 by four others
Offensive Rebs. 8 by Duke Crews 5 by four others
Steals 4 by Chris Lofton 4 by two others

Of course, when the team scores 41 points more than its average, you'd expect to break some records. You'd also expect some amusing quotes.

Say, this one, from JaJuan Smith, who shook off a miserable performance against LSU in the SEC Tournament:

I think that was somebody else in Atlanta.
Or this one, from Dane Bradshaw, who is hitting a mere 34.3 percent from the field, but who had a career-high 11 assists against Long Beach State:
I couldn't believe it. Everybody was hitting. I wasn't about to shoot and screw it up.
Or perhaps this one from sophomore Tanner Wild, who banked in a three-pointer with four seconds remaining:
I just wanted to get a shot off, and it happened to go in. I'm happy. I can't really apologize because it might never happen again.
Or this one by Chris Lofton, which sums it up quite nicely:
I think we put the fast back in fast-break.
And then there's this tantalizing quote from Long Beach State senior forward Dominique Ricks:
I think they are one of the best teams we have played all year. We played UCLA and USC, and Tennessee is right up there with those other teams.
Let's hope we can say that ourselves next week.

But first, Virginia tomorrow.

Hulk Smash!

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