Vols Lockdown Grizzlies, Post 77-50 Win

Nov. 26, 2012

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Defense was the name of the game for the Vols on Monday night as Tennessee locked up a 77-50 victory over Oakland before 14,625 at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tennessee limited the Grizzlies to 28.6 percent from the floor and 12.5 percent from the 3-point line.

The overall field goal defense was the best defensive mark for for the Vols under second-year head coach Cuonzo Martin. The 50 points allowed are the second-fewest allowed by the Vols under Martin.

The win gave the Vols (4-1) a measure of revenge after losing to Oakland (2-5) in each of the last two seasons.

Sophomore Jarnell Stokes led the Vols with 19 for his fourth game this season in double-figures, coming on the heels of a career-high 24 vs. UMass in the Vols' last game. Stokes was nearly perfect on his field goals, making 7-of-8.

Junior guard Trae Golden tallied a season-high 18 points as he also handed out seven assists. Similar to Stokes, Golden was efficient from the floor, making 7-of-9 shots.

Senior Kenny Hall pulled down 11 rebounds to go along with nine points. Tennessee outrebounded the Summit League team, 42-29.

Tennessee's defense was the story of the day forcing Oakland in several shot-clock violations and forcing them into bad shots all night long.

Oakland was led by Travis Bader, who had 18 points.

Jarnell Stokes scored 19 points, on the heels of a career-high 24 points in UT's 77-50 win over Oakland. The Memphis native has shown so far this season he can quickly turn defensive takeaways into fast-break points on offense. With 9 minutes left in the first half, Stokes quickly jumped an Oakland pass into the post and broke up court, finishing the play with a pass to Trae Golden for a layup.

"I'm always looking to go for the ball on defense," Stokes said. "It's usually Trae leading the break, and I'm just waiting till he sees me on the wing. And I think both of us did a good job of that today."

Golden finished with 18 points and seven assists, while only committing one turnover.

"Both Jarnell and Kenny (Hall) are super athletic," Golden said. "I just have to make sure to keep my head up and always be looking for them because they always run the floor well. It's my job to make sure they get the ball and to reward them."

Hall also played a major roll for the Vols, filling in for injured starter Jeronne Maymon.

"I think everyone sees a lot of improvement with Kenny from last year," Stokes said. "He has become more of a leader, and he lead us with rebounding tonight. He is just someone this team needs to be successful."

- Ryan Howard

Tennessee led 38-15 at halftime as the Vols had their best defensive half under Martin. The 15 points were the fewest allowed in a half by UT since holding UNC Asheville to 14 on Nov. 17, 2009. The Vols also limited Oakland to just 15.6 percent from the floor in the first half. The Grizzlies made just 5-of-32 shots and only one of 11 3-pointers.

Golden led all scorers in the first half with 14 points while Stokes had eight.

The Vols jumped out to a 15-2 lead to start the game. McRae posted the exclamation point to the opening run on a slam dunk with 13 minutes left in the first half. UT's defense was held off the board for a span of 6:10 and made just one of their first nine field goal attempts.

The Vols continued to hold a 20-point lead through most of the second half. Stokes stuffed home his second dunk of the night with 6:37 left in the game and Richardson canned a 3-pointer to put the Vols ahead 65-40.

The margin moved to 29 on a 3-pointer by junior transfer D'Montre Edwards with 3:34 left in the game, making it 73-44.

The Vols head to No. 20/25 Georgetown for the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. That game in our nation's Capital will air on ESPN and can be heard on the Vol Network.





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