Knoxville, TN – A second-half offensive outburst propelled the No. 21 Tennessee Vols basketball team to a 75-53 win over Jacksonville State Saturday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The win stands as the 700th in Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes‘ 33-year career.
Jordan Bowden led the Vols in scoring with 19 points, as John Fulkerson (16), Yves Pons (11) and Josiah-Jordan James (10) also reached double figures scoring.
Lamonte Turner dished out 11 assists, marking his third game this season with double-digit assists.
Turner became just the third player in program history with three games in the same season of 11 or more assists, joining Rodney Woods (1974-75) and Johnny Darden (1976-77 & 1977-78).
As a team, Tennessee had 25 assists – its most in a single game this season. James also contributed a season-high six assists.
On the defensive end, Pons tied a program-record with six blocked shots, becoming just the seventh player in program history with six blocks in a single game.
After Tennessee (8-3) took a four-point lead into halftime, the teams traded baskets to open the second half before the Vols’ offense came alive with an 11-2 run – capped off by an Yves Pons block on the defensive end and a three-pointer on the offensive end.
A brief run by the Gamecocks (4-8) cut the deficit back down to eight, but Tennessee responded with another spurt, this time 10-0, to push the lead to 19 points and take full control. Tennessee scored 45 points in the second half – the most points it has scored in any half this season.
Following an evenly contested first half, the Vols led the Gamecocks 30-26 at halftime. Tennessee opened the game balanced on the offensive end, as each of the Vols’ starters contributed one of the team’s first five field goals.
The Vols used their quick start on the offensive end to jump out to a 13-6 lead early on, before Jacksonville State took advantage of a scoring drought by the Vols that lasted nearly seven minutes and took a 16-13 lead.
Highlighted by back-to-back threes from Jordan Bowden, Tennessee responded by rattling off an 8-0 run of its own to give the Vols control of the game heading into the break.
Rick Barnes Gets 700th
Rick Barnes captured the 700th win of his head coaching career against Jacksonville State, becoming the 22nd head coach to ever record 700 Division I wins and one of seven active coaches to eclipse the mark.
Junior forward Yves Pons recorded a program-record-tying six blocked shots during Saturday’s win.
It marks his sixth game this season with three or more blocks. Pons has blocked at least one shot in 11 consecutive games, a feat never accomplished by recent notable shot blockers Grant Williams and Kyle Alexander.
Filling Up Thompson-Boling Arena
Following Saturday’s home contest, the Tennessee Vols basketball team is now averaging an attendance of 18,603 per game in its seven home games thus far this season. That rate ranks third in the nation this season.
Next Up For Tennessee Men’s Basketball
Following a week-long break from action, Tennessee Vols Basketball returns to the hardwood next Saturday, December. 28th against Wisconsin at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will tip off at 12:30pm CT at be televised on CBS.