John Florveus 6
Dustin Ware 2
Tallied 14 points off the bench, for his highest scoring game since Dec. 14 at Charleston (19). Hit 3-of-5 on 3-pointers.
The Vols have used four different starting line-ups this season and are 4-0 when debuting each set of five.
Tennessee is fifth in the nation in average attendance including a crowd of 19,379 for the Georgia game. It was the fourth game in a row with a crowd of 19,000-plus.
The Vols are 8-1 in home games since Dec. 20 with the lone loss to current No. 1 Kentucky on Jan. 14, but just three points.
Tennessee outscored Georgia 12-0 in fastbreak points.
Trae Golden saw his starting streak end at 22 games, but coming off the bench, he tallied a team-high16 in the win.
Feb. 4, 2012
BY JOSH PATE UTSports.com
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Trae Golden came off the bench for Tennessee to score 16 points and lead the Volunteers past Georgia 73-62 Saturday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Golden, who had started the previous 22 games this season, was replaced by Skylar McBee in the starting lineup. It was McBee's first career start.
"I just felt like Trae needed to work hard on both ends of the floor and really lead us as a point guard," said Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin. "Not necessarily in production or points, but just his approach and intensity level on the defensive side of the ball and really taking pride in it."
Golden responded. His aggressive drives to the basket resulted in him scoring 10 of his 16 points in the second half, going 5-of-6 from the foul line.
"It definitely lit a fire under me," Golden said of the demotion. "It wasn't like a negative fire. I just wanted to be a help to the team in any way I could and that's what I tried to do."
McBee also took advantage, dropping 10 points in the game and scoring three points in the final 19 seconds thanks to two technical fouls on Georgia head coach Mark Fox that resulted in his ejection.
Tennessee's guard combination of Golden, McRae and McBee combined for 40 points on the night while Georgia's zone defense and double team of Tennessee's post players made it tough for paint points.
"I thought they did a good job of making shots," Martin said. "I thought what was more impressive was our big guys accepting the double team and not turning the ball over because it's not an easy thing to do."
Georgia's (10-12, 1-7 Southeastern Conference) effort to close off the paint worked well early on, but the Bulldogs' post players got into quick foul trouble and the Vols finally found the rim from outside.
"We just were in such awful foul trouble and that obviously was a huge factor in the game," Fox said. "We had to play a football player (Jay Rome) five minutes in the first half just to stay out of foul trouble. But you have to give Tennessee credit. They made some key 3-point baskets."
Tennessee (11-12, 3-5 SEC) struggled most of the night from long range, going 7-of-22 from behind the arc. Yet trailing 41-34 with 14:42 to play, McRae drained a 3-pointer from the wing to spark the offense. Golden followed suit, faking a Georgia defender and nailing a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 41-40 Bulldogs with 13:46 to play.
Kenny Hall gave the Vols a 42-41 lead with a pair of free throws at the 13:14 mark, and Tennessee never trailed again.
With Tennessee up 48-47, Cameron Tatum's 3-pointer with 7:42 to play sparked a 13-3 run by the Vols down the stretch that was the difference.
McRae was the catalyst during that stretch, nailing a jumper as the shot clock expired and then following that with a 3-pointer. He closed the run with a three-point play to make it 61-51 Vols with 3:25 left to play.
"I'm just trying to stay positive and keep playing with confidence," McRae said. "Even this game, I'm going to watch film tomorrow and try to figure out what I can do better. I'm just really trying to get better defensively every day and keep my offense in mind, too."
Georgia scrapped in the final minute of the game, down 10. Nemanja Djurisic hit a 3 from the corner to make the Vols sweat, but it didn't matter when Fox was slapped with two technical fouls and ejected with 19 seconds remaining in the game. McBee hit three of the four foul shots, squelching Georgia's bid for a late comeback.
The Vols were 28-of-37 from the foul line, led by Maymon's 9-of-12 performance.
"We did a really good job of getting to the free throw line as a team," Martin said. "I think when Jeronne is making those free throws, he's really hard to defend. It really helps us out in so many areas."
Three Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's 16 points. Dustin Ware added 15 points behind 6-of-7 shooting. Gerald Robinson had 13.
Georgia led 27-19 with 5:10 remaining in the first half when Tennessee shifted its offensive focus from behind the arc to inside the paint.
The Vols closed the first half on an 11-1 run behind three jumpers from Golden to lead 30-28 at the break.
Georgia, however, responded with its own 11-4 run to start the second half and take back the lead before the Vols' guards finally got hot from beyond the arc.
Tennessee stays at home this week when it hosts South Carolina Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena for an 8 p.m. tip-off (SEC Network).