Jarnell Stokes, Trae Golden, and Jeronne Maymon of the UT basketball team. Courtesy: UT Sports
By STEVE MEGARGEE / AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee believes it can bounce back from another slow start in Southeastern Conference play.
The Volunteers lost four of their first five SEC games last season and ended up 10-6 to finish tied for second in the league standings. This year, they're 1-3 in league competition and confident they can turn things around again.
Tennessee beat Mississippi State 72-57 on Saturday to end a four-game losing streak that included three conference games.
The Vols (9-7, 1-3 SEC) play at No. 23 Mississippi (15-2, 4-0) on Thursday and host Alabama (12-6, 4-1) on Saturday, giving them a chance to avenge their first two conference losses of the season. Mississippi beat the Vols 92-74 in Knoxville on Jan. 9. Tennessee fell 68-65 at Alabama three days later.