Jan. 4, 2014
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- In their last game before the start of the SEC season, the Tennessee Volunteers led wire-to-wire Saturday in a 98-51 victory over Tusculum at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Vols (9-4) scored the first 11 points of the game and never looked back against the NCAA Division II Tusculum (1-11) squad.
Senior Jordan McRae scored 19 points, 17 in the first half, to lead the Vols, and senior Jeronne Maymon finished with 16 points. Six Vols finished with at least 10 points, and 11 UT players scored at least one basket.
Senior guard Antonio Barton hit a 3-pointer to start the game, and the Vols were on their way. Maymon and sophomore Jarnell Stokes each made two baskets inside the paint to give UT the 11-0 lead. The Vols eventually led by as many as 25 points.
Tennessee were ahead 52-27 at halftime, the most points the Vols have scored in the first half this season.
The Vols kept the assists up and turnovers down in the first half. The UT offense was efficient with 17 assists on 18 field goals. Tennessee did not commit a single turnover in the first half while forcing six from Tusculum.
McRae and Maymon paced the Vols offensively in the first half. McRae shot 6 of 8 from the field for 17 points. Maymon was a perfect 6-of-6 shooting with 12 points and three assists.
Midway through the second half, the Vols jumped on an 28-2 run to extend the lead to 94-48 on a 3-pointer by sophomore Armani Moore with 2:20 left.
Tennessee show 35 of 61 from the field (58 percent), while Tusculum was 14 of 53 (26 percent). The Vols finished with 30 team assists, with freshman Darius Thompson leading in the way with a career-high 9 assists in 23 minutes.
Senior D'Montre Edwards recorded his scoring career best with the Vols, finishing with 12 points. He made three baskets -- two of them 3-pointers -- and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Darius Carter led Tusculum with 22 points, shooting 11 of 13 from the free throw line.
Because Tusculum is an Division II team, the Pioneers are considering this game as an exhibition. All results and stats do count for the Vols.
Tennessee kicks off SEC play Tuesday against LSU in Baton Rouge, La. The game starts at 7 p.m. Eastern and will be televised on ESPN.