Toronto, Ontario – A balanced effort on both sides of the floor, along with double-digit scoring outputs from four different players, pushed the Tennessee Vols basketball team to a 75-62 victory over 20th-ranked Washington on Saturday in the James Naismith Classic at Scotiabank Arena.
The Vols improved to 3-0 for the third consecutive season, while Washington fell to 2-1.
UT was led by senior Jordan Bowden, who poured in a game-high-tying 18 points, with 15 coming in the game’s first half. His point total leaves him just five shy of becoming the 51st member of Tennessee’s 1,000-Point Club.
Junior John Fulkerson was a force in the paint, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds. Fulkerson was also integral in putting Washington forward Isaiah Stewart into foul trouble early in the first half.
Fellow Vols junior Yves Pons put together another solid performance, tallying 15 points to reach that total for the third consecutive game.
Freshman Josiah-Jordan James had a perfect shooting night, making all four of his shots from the field. His performance was good enough for season-highs in both points (9) and assists (5).
An 11-2 scoring run early in the first half, gave UT a 16-7 lead, and it maintained its lead for the duration of the game.
The Vols were lights-out from the field in the first half, shooting 55 percent overall and 62.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc, knocking down five of their eight attempts from long range.
In the second half, the Orange & White fended off shooting struggles, holding the Huskies to a 37-percent shooting mark in the half, never allowing the lead to slip to fewer than seven points.
Tennessee closed the contest netting its final 12 points from the free-throw line, with senior Lamonte Turner going 9-for-10 from the line down the stretch. Turner finished the night with 16 points, a game-high eight assists and a season-high seven rebounds.
Evergreen State Success
For the second straight season, Tennessee has logged an impressive, neutral-site victory over a team from the state of Washington. Last season, the Volunteers defeated top-ranked Gonzaga, 76-73, at the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix, Arizona. Just like Saturday’s triumph over Washington, that Gonzaga game was sponsored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and took place in an NBA arena.
How Mr. Naismith Drew It Up
The Vols assisted on all 15 of their made field goals in the first half.
Up Next For UT Basketball
Tennessee Vols basketball returns home to Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday, November 20th, for a 6:00pm CT tip against Alabama State. The contest will be broadcast on SEC Network+.