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HomeSports#8 Tennessee Vols Basketball drop USC Upstate, 80-60

#8 Tennessee Vols Basketball drop USC Upstate, 80-60

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – Another balanced offensive effort and timely stops on the defensive end pushed the eighth-ranked Tennessee Vols basketball team past USC Upstate, 80-60, on Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Vols (6-0)—off to their best start since the 2010-11 squad opened the year 7-0—were powered by a balanced offensive effort during which every player who saw action scored, withstanding Upstate’s (0-8) efficient 9-of-18 shooting performance from 3-point range.

Tennessee Men's Basketball improves to 6-0 with 80-60 win over USC Upstate Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena. (UT Athletics)
Tennessee Men’s Basketball improves to 6-0 with 80-60 win over USC Upstate Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena. (UT Athletics)

Junior Victor Bailey Jr. led Tennessee in scoring for the second consecutive game, pouring in 18 points, while knocking down a career-high-tying eight field goals.

On the boards, sophomore Josiah-Jordan James led the way with a game-high eight rebounds. James scored 11 points while shooting an efficient 3-of-5 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. He also added five assists and nabbed a career-high-tying three steals.

Classmate Santiago Vescovi scored nine points and dished off a career-high-tying eight assists.

John Fulkerson was the third Vol to reach double-figures, scoring 10 points and knocking down all six of his attempts from the foul line.

Sophomore Olivier Nkamhoua was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field Wednesday, while recording nine points, an assist, one steal and a block in 13 minutes of action off the bench.

The contest’s opening 12 minutes were defined by both squads holding firm on the defensive end. But the Vols shot a stellar .714 from the field while assisting on 9-of-10 field goals to take a 23-15 lead at the under-eight media break of the first half.

The programs exchanged punches over the final eight minutes of the period, with UT holding on to its advantage, edging the Spartans, 33-26, at the halftime horn.

The start of the second half saw much of the same action, with the sides trading blows and the Vols maintaining a 10-point lead at the under-12 media timeout.

Through the game’s final stages, Tennessee clamped down on defense and took advantage of a number of transition buckets, stretching its lead to as many as 22 before walking away with the 20-point victory.

You’ve Been Blocked: The Vols finished the night with seven blocks, marking the fourth consecutive game UT has tallied at least five team blocks. The Orange & White have rejected 30 shots this season, an average of five per game.

 


Box Score

USC Upstate 60, Tennessee 80

  1 2 F
USC Upstate 26 34 60
Tennessee 33 47 80

Up Next for Tennessee Men’s Basketball

The Tennessee Vols basketball team will take a week-long break before opening SEC play on the road against Missouri on December 30th. Tipoff from Columbia is set for 8:00pm CT on SEC Network.

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