Nov. 30, 2010
The Vols are 6-0 for the first time since the 2005-06 season, head coach Bruce Pearl's first at UT. Tonight's victory marks the 15th time in program history that UT has started with six consecutive wins.
The Vols are 9-1 all-time vs. Middle Tennessee and have won the past nine meetings.
Tennessee is now 24-3 against current members of the Sun Belt Conference, includ¬ing a 12-0 mark in the Pearl era.
Under Pearl, UT is 26-5 (.839) against in-state Division I teams.
Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Haslam was in attendance this evening, sitting court¬side.
The first half started with a series of shutout scoring runs. UT opened up with the first eight points of the game and MTSU responded with 10 of its own to take its only lead of the game. Following that, the Vols scored a season-high 21 unanswered points to take a 29-10 lead.
The Vols scored a season-high 86 points, its highest total since putting up 88 against Charlotte in an 88-71 win since Jan. 6, 2010. MTSU's 56 points tie a UT opponent low in 2010-11, matching the Vols' defensive effort against Missouri State earlier this season.
Tennessee is now 74-6 (.925) when scoring 80 or more points under the direction of Pearl.
UT's largest lead of 34 in the second half was its largest of the season.
The Vols scored a season-high 46 first-half points, held Middle Tennessee to an oppo¬nent-low 23 first-half points, resulting in a season-best 23-point halftime lead.
Junior guard Scotty Hopson (Hopkinsville, Ky.) matched a career low with one point (Memphis; 1/24/09) in last year's game against Middle Tennessee but was able to outdo his previous scoring total against the Blue Raiders tonight...on the game's first shot. Just 28 seconds into the game, Hopson nailed the first of his season-high four three-pointers. He missed just one three-point attempt on the evening to finish 4-of-6. It marks the first time this season that Hopson has connected on multiple treys.
The NIT Season Tip-Off's Most Outstanding Player finished with a season-high 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a 4-for-6 clip from beyond the arc and 5-for-6 mark at the free throw line.
Tobias Tears It Up
Freshman forward Tobias Harris (Dix Hills, N.Y.) posted UT's first individual 20-point game of 2010 with a career-high 21 points, leading the Vols in scoring for the third time in six games this season. Harris also pulled down four rebounds and dished out a career-best three assists.
Harris made it to the free throw line nine times, the most by a Vol this season. The standout rookie used it to match a UT season-high seven makes from the charity stripe.
Harris also had a career-best three steals to tie Steven Pearl for the team lead.
Goins Paces UT
Senior point guard Melvin Goins (San Diego, Calif.) notched a season and team-high five assists to lead the UT offense as the Vols had 18 assists on 26 buckets. Goins also matched a season-high with five boards, UT's second-leading rebounder.
Big Baby, Big Boards>
Senior center Brian Williams (Bronx, N.Y.) pulled down a game-high nine rebounds and has led the Vols on the glass three times. Williams' nine rebounds were his second highest total this season. Cameron's Night
Junior guard Cameron Tatum (Lithonia, Ga.) struggled from beyond the arc but still managed to contribute eight points and four assists..
The Sixth Man
Golden and Hall Lead Bench
Freshman point guard Trae Golden (Powder Springs, Ga.) and sophomore forward Kenny Hall (Stone Mountain, Ga.) each scored eight points to lead the Vols' second unit. Golden has now scored eight points three times this season while Hall's total set a career high. Golden also made his first three pointer as a Vol.
McBee For Three!
Sophomore point guard Skylar McBee (Rutledge, Tenn.), 3-of-10 from three-point land coming into tonight, connected on 2-of-3 three-point tries, including a buzzer-beater to give the Vols a 23-point lead heading into halftime
Misc. Notes From The Bench
Senior forward John Fields (Fayetteville, N.C.) tied a season best with three blocks to lead UT in that category for the fifth time this season. Fields added four points and four rebounds.
Senior forward Steven Pearl (Knoxville, Tenn.) tallied a season-high three steals, fall¬ing one short of his career best of four set against Florida last season (1/31/10).
Freshman guard Tyler Summitt (Knoxville, Tenn.) saw his longest playing time of the season and connected on UT's 11th three-pointer in just two minutes of action.