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Tennessee Vols Basketball takes down Vanderbilt Commodores, 81-61

 

Tennessee Volunteers - UT VolsKnoxville, TN – A season-high 16 points from freshman guard Keon Johnson and a solid effort on the defensive end led the 10th-ranked Tennessee men’s basketball team past in-state foe Vanderbilt 81-61.

The win was the Vols (10-1, 4-1 SEC) seventh consecutive over the Commodores (4-6, 0-4 SEC) and the fourth in a row inside Thompson-Boling Arena.

Saturday’s victory also tied Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes with legendary former coaches Phog Allen and Don Haskins for 20th place on the all-time Division I wins list with 719. Barnes ranks seventh in career wins among active head coaches and now has 115 victories at Tennessee.

Tennessee Men's Basketball freshman guard Keon Johnson scored 16 points in win over Vanderbilt, Saturday night. (UT Athletics)

Tennessee Men’s Basketball freshman guard Keon Johnson scored 16 points in win over Vanderbilt, Saturday night. (UT Athletics)


Johnson’s 16 points were both a team- and season-high, coming on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and a near-perfect 7-of-8 mark from the free-throw line.

Senior John Fulkerson was the most efficient Vol on the night, scoring 15 points, knocking down five of his six attempts from the field, and brought in a game-high eight rebounds.

Freshman Jaden Springer stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 10 points, pulling in a season-high seven rebounds, five assists, and a season-high-tying three steals.

Junior Victor Bailey Jr. finished the night with 11 points, nine of which came on three made 3-pointers during the Vols early second-half run that put the game nearly to bed.

The first half was a tightly contested affair that saw the defenses controlling the flow. While the squads combined for a fairly efficient 37 percent from the field, there were only 10 combined offensive rebounds and seven-second chance points between the sides.

A late push to end the half sent the Vols into the locker room with a 34-24 lead.

The start of the second half saw a similar pace to the contests opening frame, before the Vols broke things open with a 15-2 run during a four-minute stretch where the Vols knocked down five shots from 3-point land, three of which came from Bailey Jr to extend the lead to 56-42.

Over the contest’s final 10 minutes, the Vols stifled Vandy on the defensive end and made a number of key buckets to close out the night.

Defense Wins Games: The Tennessee Vols forced 16 turnovers and nabbed nine steals as a team. Saturday’s 16 forced turnovers marked the 10th time in 11 games the Vols have forced 15 or more turnovers.

Box Score

 

 

Next Up For Tennessee Vols Basketball

Tennessee hits the road for a Tuesday night contest with Florida. Tipoff from Gainesville is slated for 6:00pm CT on ESPN.
 


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