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HomeSportsUT Vols Basketball take on East Tennessee Buccaneers at Thompson-Boling Arena, Tuesday

UT Vols Basketball take on East Tennessee Buccaneers at Thompson-Boling Arena, Tuesday

Tennessee (5-5) vs. East Tennessee (5-5)

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 | 7:01pm ET (6:01pm CT)
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – Tennessee concludes its pre-Christmas schedule on Tuesday when welcomes in-state foe ETSU to Thompson-Boling Arena for a 7:00pm ET tipoff. A live streaming broadcast of the game will be available online only through SEC Network +.

The Vols (5-5) will be aiming to stay perfect at home this season as they are a perfect 5-0 at Thompson-Boling Arena in 2015-16. UT has showcased an uptempo and efficient offense in Knoxville, averaging 86.2 points per game in its five home wins. The senior duo of Kevin Punter Jr. and Armani Moore has been the catalyst behind those offensive figures as the tandem is putting up an average of 43.2 ppg at home.

The Tennessee Volunteers and East Tennessee Buccaneers meet for the 17th time in series history. (UT Athletics Department)

At 23.0 ppg, Punter ranks second in the SEC in scoring and has scored 20-plus points in seven consecutive games.

That streak is the longest for Tennessee since SEC Player of the Year Ron Slay rattled off eight straight 20-plus performances in 2003. Punter enters Tuesday’s game averaging 24.7 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.7 rebounds over his last three games.

Moore and fellow senior Devon Baulkman have scored in double figures in each of their last three games as the pair put up 16 and 17 points, respectively, in Saturday’s loss to Gonzaga. Moore is Tennessee’s second-leading scorer at 15.8 ppg and also paces the squad in rebounds per game at 7.1.

With a block against the Zags, Moore moved into sole possession of 13th place on UT’s all-time blocked shots list. He currently ranks fourth in the conference at 2.1 blocks per game. Meanwhile, Baulkman increased his scoring average to 11.3 ppg over the weekend. The Bainbridge, Georgia, native has knocked down a three in eight straight games.

Robert Hubbs III made his return against Gonzaga, scoring three points and playing 19 minutes in his first action since undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee early in the month.

Tennessee is 14-2 all-time against ETSU with its last loss to the Bucs coming in 1991. The two programs have played each of their last 10 meetings in Knoxville, including last season’s 71-61 win for the Vols.

About East Tennessee

East Tennessee BuccaneersETSU (5-5) was picked by the Southern Conference head coaches to finish fourth in the 10-team league this season. The Bucs are in their first season under head coach Steve Forbes, who was an assistant coach with the Vols from 2006-11.

Other former Tennessee staffers on Forbes’ staff are assistant coach Jason Shay (UT assistant coach from 2005-11) and assistant coach Brooks Savage (first as a student manager, then as a graduate assistant in 2009-10). Savage earned both his bachelor’s (2008) and master’s (2010) degrees in Sports Management from UT. ETSU junior guard A.J. Merriweather earned a spot on the coaches’ preseason All-SoCon Team.

The Bucs’ roster includes a pair of Knoxville natives in senior forward Lester Wilson (Carter HS) and junior guard Stetson Moore (Hall HS and Walters State CC).

Senior guard Ge’Lawn Guyn scored a team-high 27 points Friday as the Bucs erased a 14-point first-half deficit to defeat Eastern Kentucky in Johnson City. Guyn leads ETSU with a scoring average of 18.0 ppg.

Last Meeting with East Tennessee

Josh Richardson scored 19 points, Armani Moore posted a double-double, and Tennessee surged late to take a 71-61 New Year’s Eve victory over East Tennessee December 31st, 2014, at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tennessee closed out the game on a 19-5 run to remain a perfect 7-0 at home.

ETSU thrived with outside shooting through the first 30 minutes of the game, but the Vols defense shut down the Bucs over the final 10 minutes.

Richardson had 19 points with six assists and four rebounds. Moore finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the second double-double of his career. Derek Reese scored 12 points and collected five rebounds in the win.

ETSU shot 13-of-32 from 3-point range, marking the most 3-pointers by a Tennessee opponent since College of Charleston drained 14 on New Year’s Eve in 2010. Bucs guard Reyshawn Rembert scored a game-high 21 points, going 7-of-11 from beyond the arc.

Down 56-52 with 9:39 left, Tennessee surged ahead with a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to seize control of the game. The Vols pulled ahead, 57-56, on a Reese layup with 7:50 remaining.

Vols S.O.S. Third Nationally

Through the games of Sunday, December 20th, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) rated Tennessee’s strength-of-schedule as the third-toughest in the nation, trailing only UCLA and Georgia. UT is one of six SEC teams with a top-20 SOS.

Tennessee Riding Five-Game Home Win Streak

Tennessee’s current five-game home win streak is its longest since the Vols won their first seven games at Thompson-Boling Arena last season. The Vols are outscoring opponents by 14.6 ppg at home this year while shooting .492 as a team, including a .363 mark from 3-point range.

The Big Orange also block 7.4 shots per game at home this season.

Good to be Home in December

Tennessee has won 17 of its last 18 December home games, dating to December 20th, 2011. That equates to a .944 winning percentage. The lone loss during that span came last season when the Vols suffered a 65-58 setback to NC State (December 18th, 2013).

Included in those 17 victories are wins over ranked Wichita State and Butler teams, as well as triumphs over Xavier, Virginia and Kansas State.

Punter 10th in NCAA in Scoring

One of UT’s Top-Scoring Point Guards

Tennessee senior point guard Kevin Punter Jr. ranks second in the SEC and 10th in the country with 23.0 points per game.

Among all-time Tennessee point guards, Punter stands beside the most prolific scorers of the bunch.

His 23.0 ppg stand as the second-best season scoring average among all-time UT point guards, trailing only the 23.7 ppg that the legendary Allan Houston averaged while handling PG duties as a freshman in 1990-91.

Tennessee Gonzaga Highlights

Broadcast Information

TV | SEC Network +
Play by Play: Mick Gillispie
Analyst: Steve Hamer
Reporter: Maddy Glab
Producer: Sam Scott

Radio | Vol Network
Play by Play: Bob Kesling
Analyst: Bert Bertelkamp
Engineer: Tim Berry

Online/Mobile

www.UTsports.com
Free audio stream only

www.WatchESPN.com
Free video stream

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