Tony Jones had seen enough from the Tennessee men's basketball team leading up to Saturday's SEC game against Vanderbilt.
Jones, the acting head coach during Bruce Pearl's eight-game, in-conference suspension, gave the team a spirited halftime speech, and the Volunteers (11-6, 1-2 SEC) responded with a 67-64 come-from-behind win over the Commodores (12-4, 1-2 SEC) Saturday afternoon in Thompson-Boling Arena.
"To come back from 17 down to win that game shows the character of this team," Jones said. "I talked to the team about how enough is enough. Enough is enough.
"You're a talented basketball team with talented players, and you're coming up short. Enough is enough. I had a few choice words for them. They responded. They came out and played Tennessee basketball."
The Vols trailed 30-20 at the half, but only after a 7-0 UT run during the last two minutes of the half cut the Commodore lead to 10.'
"One thing I also told the team is the reason we won that basketball game is because we cut that deficit to 10 at halftime," Jones said. "17 (points) would have been tougher to come back from. When we cut it to 10, it was manageable. We came out with a lot of spirit in the second half and made some field goals."
Tennessee outscored Vanderbilt 47-34 over the game's final 20 minutes.
"We shot 49 percent in the second half," Jones said. "I told the team it was an aberration shooting 20 percent in the first half. Guys were just so pumped and jacked up before the game. I was kind of afraid of that on the offensive end."
Junior guard Scotty Hopson led the Vols with 16 points, including 14 in the second half.
"Guys just made an effort (in the second half) and made it apparent that we we're going to get to the rim relentlessly," Hopson said. "We did that, and it created offensive rebounds and easy buckets for us."
A lay-up by forward Tobias Harris with 1:09 remaining gave the Vols a 65-64 lead. The freshman later extended UT's lead to three by hitting two free throws with 3 seconds left.
He finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Center Brian Williams controlled the paint with 12 rebounds to go along with eight points.
"Obviously, Brian Williams was huge for us," Jones said. "Especially in the second half with eight offensive rebounds. He scored the basketball."
Skylar McBee provided a much-needed spark off the bench for the Vols with 10 points.
The crowd also gave the Tennessee team a distinct home-court advantage.
"Coming into this game, I hadn't seen Thompson-Boling like that, I don't think, since I've been here," Hopson said.
ESPN's College GameDay was in attendance and broadcasted live from the arena before the game.
"It was an unbelievable crowd with 21,000 in the house," Jones said. "Dickie V (Dick Vitale) in the house, College GameDay in the house. Our fans showed what type of fans they are. No question, the best in the country. They proved that today."
The Vols avoided an 0-3 start in conference play with the win Saturday. Still, Jones knows the team needs to build on the momentum and have it carry over to the next game.
"Our goal is to win an SEC championship," Jones said. "To be 0-3, I don't know if that could have happened. I told them that your head coach, Bruce Pearl, would be extremely happy watching the game at his home, because you exemplified his skills of having a never-say-die approach. And I told them get ready for the Georgia Bulldogs on Tuesday."