Vols showing uncharacteristic struggles on defense

9:34 PM, Jan 11, 2013   |    comments
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By STEVE MEGARGEE / AP Sports Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee has prided itself on hard-nosed defense ever since Cuonzo Martin took over the program last year, but that characteristic has been missing during the Volunteers' two-game losing streak.

After not allowing any of their first 11 opponents to score as many as 70 points, the Vols have given up a total of 177 points in their last two games. They lost 85-80 to Memphis on Jan. 4 and fell 92-74 to Mississippi in their Southeastern Conference opener Wednesday.

The Vols (8-5, 0-1 SEC) will try to recapture their usual form on defense Saturday at Alabama (8-6, 0-1) when they play their first road game in over a month. Alabama has lost six of its last eight games and hasn't reached 70 points in any of its last six contests.

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