Jan. 2, 2012
Golden tied his career-high with 29 points as he made 11-of-17 field goals in the win. He knocked down four 3-pointers.
Cameron Tatum had a career-high six assists along with zero turnovers in the win.
Skylar McBee scored a career-high 16 points, he had tied his previous high of 15 in the first half alone.
Trae Golden tied his career-high with 29 points, the second time this season he scored 29. He also did it vs. UNCG.
The Vols attempted 39 3-pointers, the second-most in a game in school history. The record of 50 came vs. NC A&T in 2007.
The Vols have scored 74 bench points in the last two games with a 24-4 mark tonight to make a 74-16 margin for the last two games.
BY JOSH PATE
The Vols made their living from beyond the 3-point arc, going 13-of-39 from long range and simply out-shooting the Mocs. The 39 3-point attempts were the second-most in school history, falling short of the record 50 set against North Carolina A&T on Nov. 27, 2007.
"Thirty-nine 3-pointers. I've got to go back and watch film tonight, but of the 39 probably 35 of them were good shots," said Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin. "The way they play you, you shoot a lot of 3s because they double the post so you swing the ball around the perimeter to have opportunities to score the ball. You have to take those shots."
Golden was the spark for the Vols, just three days after having surgery to repair his nasal fracture. He scored 19 of his points in the first 20 minutes and combined with McBee to turn a tie game into a 12-point Tennessee lead just before the half.
With the game tied at 27 and 4:04 remaining in the half, McBee hit a 3 to spark an 11-0 run by the Vols. Golden followed it with a layup and a 3 of his own. Then McBee finished the run with another long-range shot to make it 38-27 Tennessee.
McBee said the flurry of 3-point shots was by design based off of Chattanooga's defensive double-team in the paint.
"That's something that we worked on in practice," McBee said. "We knew that if we got the ball out of the post and reversed it then we would get some good looks, so I figured we would shoot a lot of 3-pointers."
Chattanooga responded when Keegan Bell hit a 3-pointer, but Golden converted a three-point play and then hit a 3-point shot as Tennessee went to break leading 44-32.
The Mocs came out in the second half and cut the margin to 5 behind three consecutive 3-pointers. The Vols, however, responded with a 3 from Jordan McRae and were able to make inside baskets from driving the basketball to keep Chattanooga at arm's length.
Golden's 29 points tied his output from the season opener against UNC Greensboro.
"You want your point guard to be aggressive," Martin said of Golden. "He has to be assertive more than anything. That's the biggest key, as long as he's making stuff happen."
Golden said it's a challenge to answer Martin's call for him to set the tone for the team each night, but that he seeks to take what is available from his point guard spot.
"I attacked the lane and if I had an open shot, I shot it," Golden said of his aggressiveness. "I was trying to hit our guys a lot. Their shots really weren't falling at first, but they got back. It's just something I've got to continue to work on."
McBee's 16 points came mostly from his long-range accuracy as he went 5-of-11 from 3-point land. McRae added 12 points for the Vols.
"We have so many guys on the team who can do good things off the dribble with Jordan, Trae and Cam," McBee said. "Everybody can penetrate. I kind of get the easy job of standing over there when the defense comes to stop them and I shoot from my side. It's thanks to those guys that I get shots."
Ricky Taylor led Chattanooga with 17 points as the Mocs had four players score in double figures.
The game began with a series of runs by both teams. Tennessee started the game on a 7-0 run, but Chattanooga responded to tie the game. Still, the Mocs made just 2 of their first 14 shots. Then the Vols rolled off 6 consecutive points before the Mocs scored 12 in a row to take a 21-16 lead with 7:23 to play in the half.
That's when Tennessee's long-range shooting finally started to fall and the Mocs couldn't keep pace. They were 11-of-26 from 3-point range, but the Vols recognized Chattanooga's defensive set and out-shot them from long range.
"It was a hard-fought win for the guys, but more importantly, we're getting better," Martin said. "I think that's always a good sign. You're able to make progress and also win a game."
The Vols head to Memphis on Wednesday for their final road non-conference game against another interstate foe. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET (FoxSports South). Tennessee lost to Memphis 99-97 in double overtime earlier this season when the two teams met at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational in Hawaii.