As if Grant Williams’ driving, physical shot through contact in the paint wasn’t dramatic enough, Admiral Schofield decided to throw another layer into the game by standing in and taking a charge with a second left.
Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree was just looking for a clean launch point as he sprinted up the floor, needing a last second desperation shot to fall for the win. Tyree never got that chance. Schofield stepped in front of Tyree, getting his feet set and taking the contact with Tyree at full speed.
The referees made the correct call, slapping Tyree with a charge and handing the ball back to Tennessee. The call essentially ended the game. Ole Miss fans and coach Kermit Davis were less than pleased, which I can sort of understand watching the play at full speed.
For Schofield, it was an unnecessary risk — one that he says he won’t try again.
“I just went in there and apologized to (Barnes),” Schofield said, “said I would never do that again. It was just a heady play. I saw him looking at the clock, so I’m like, he’s coming at me, I might as well step right here and just take it.
“That was risky, but you know what, I’m the type of person, last shot, big play like that, I can live with it, win or loss if it’s one me. I can live with it. I can take it, the criticism, whatever.”
“I just know I would’ve heard about it for the next two days.” (Quotes Via GoVols247)
“We wouldn’t want to do that — step in there,” Rick Barnes said after the game. “Glad it worked out for us, but you don’t want to put yourself in that vulnerable situation like that. It did work out.”
Just days before, Tennessee lost to LSU on a controversial call 75 feet away from the basket as Grant Williams was whistled after hitting the deck going for a rebound. To put the game in the hands of the referees once again was a bold strategy. As Barnes said though, it worked out in the end.
Tennessee had to have this one to keep their hopes at an SEC regular season title alive. Somehow, they got it. Now the Vols can look forward to Kentucky, it what may be an elimination game in the SEC race on Saturday.