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HomeSportsTennessee Vols Basketball opens season with 56-47 win over Colorado Buffaloes

Tennessee Vols Basketball opens season with 56-47 win over Colorado Buffaloes

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – In its first game in 276 days, the 12th-ranked Tennessee basketball team took down the Colorado Buffaloes in a tight defensive affair, 56-47 at Thompson-Boling Arena Tuesday night.

Tennessee (1-0) saw a balanced effort across the board with nine of 10 Vols who saw action getting on the score sheet, while Jeriah Horne led Colorado (2-1) with 15 points.

Tennessee’s John Fulkerson and Santiago Vescovi led the Big Orange in scoring with 11 points apiece, while Yves Pons was a beast on the boards, pulling in a team-high 10 rebounds. Vescovi also added a game-high five assists.

Tennessee Men's Basketball sophomore Josiah-Jordan James had 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in win over Colorado Buffaloes, Tuesday. (UT Athletics)
Tennessee Men’s Basketball sophomore Josiah-Jordan James had 8 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in win over Colorado Buffaloes, Tuesday. (UT Athletics)


Sophomore Josiah-Jordan James had the most balanced game for the Vols, tallying eight points—knocking down all four of his attempts from the charity stripe—six rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Redshirt junior Victor Bailey Jr., who made his debut with Tennessee after sitting out last season as a transfer, earned the start and was explosive in the early going, draining his first three shot attempts to score eight first-half points.

The freshman duo of Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer combined for 10 second-half points and was key to the Vols pulling away late.

The Vols came roaring out of quarantine, opening the night on a 12-2 run through the game’s first four minutes. James and Fulkerson led the way with five and four points, respectively, during that early stretch.

The Buffaloes responded to UT’s initial punch, coming within as few as four points with less than a minute to play in the half. However, Tennessee’s stifling defense and a timely 3-pointer from Vescovi took the Vols into the locker room with a 31-24 lead.

Colorado fed off the momentum it built before halftime to cut the UT lead to 33-31 at the second half’s under-16 media timeout.

Out of that break, Johnson provided an integral spark, forcing a jump ball to halt the Buffaloes possession, then forcing an immediate turnover which led to a dunk. Vescovi then drained a three seconds later to put UT up 38-31 with 14:41 remaining.

The Vols put a stranglehold on the Buffaloes through the remainder of the second half and used several late buckets to close out the season-opening victory.

 


Lefties Only
The Tennessee starting lineup of Victor Bailey Jr., John Fulkerson, Josiah-Jordan James, Yves Pons and Santiago Vescovi featured five left-handers. The Vols roster boasts a total of seven left-handers (also Davonte Gaines and Cole Morris)

New Hoopers
Tennessee’s crop of fresh faces combined for 22 of the team’s 56 points in their first appearances inside Thompson-Boling Arena.

Box Score

Colorado 47, Tennessee 56

  1 2 F
Colorado 24 23 47
Tennessee 31 25 56

Up Next for Tennessee Men’s Basketball

Tennessee Vols Basketball returns to action for a Saturday, December 12th afternoon clash with Cincinnati. Tipoff from Thompson-Boling Arena is set for 11:30am CT on the SEC Network Alternate Channel.

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