Nov. 28, 2003
KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee scored the game's final 17 points to defeat intrastate rival Tennessee State 81-56 Friday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Leading 64-56 with 4:42 remaining, the Vols held TSU scoreless for the remainder of the game. The Tigers scored just three points in the game's final 7:30.
"It wasn't the prettiest game you ever saw," Tennessee head coach Buzz Peterson said. "Down the stretch, though, we went with our small lineup, and it got us over the hump tonight. From that point, we played solid defense and took advantage of our opportunities to score."
Brandon Crump led four Vols in double figures with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, equaling his career-high. Scooter McFadgon added 12 points (9 in the second half), John Winchester had a career-best 11 and C.J. Watson added 10.
Garrett Richardson paced Tennessee State with 18 points. Richardson connected on 4-of-8 from three-point range.
The Vols (2-0) led by as many as 19 points in the second half, but Tennessee State (1-1) battled back into the game. Trailing 56-37 with 12:03 remaining, the Tigers went on a 16-4 run to close the gap to 60-53 at the 7:30 mark.
"We took a couple of ill-advised shots when we cut the lead to eight points, but we have to build upon the positives," Tennessee State head coach Cy Alexander said. "We bounced back after a first half where we didn't play exceptionally well. Sometimes when you come into a Division I-type environment, you're intimidated initially."
The Vols took a 40-25 lead into halftime. Tennessee held the Tigers to just 29 percent shooting from the field. Crump and Winchester had 10 points each at the break.
Tennessee's three-game homestand to open the season continues Tuesday with a 7 p.m. (EST) game against Texas A&M. The Aggies defeated the Vols 83-66 last season at College Station.