Vols use 32-0 run to level High Point

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - SPORTS - BY DAVID COBB STAFF WRITER

KNOXVILLE — The Ten­nessee men’s bas­ket­ball team has con­quered the Big South.

Now it’s on to the Big Ten.

Four nights af­ter us­ing a 28-0 spurt to out­last Pres­by­te­rian Col­lege in their sea­son opener, the Vol­un­teers pieced to­gether a 32-0 first-half run and lam­basted High Point 84-53 at Thomp­son-Bol­ing Arena on Tues­day night.

Ten­nessee could hardly have started bet­ter in its fi­nal tune-up be­fore next week’s eight-team Bat­tle 4 At­lantis in Ba­hamas that pits the Vols against No. 19 Pur­due in the first of three tour­na­ment games.

High Point fin­ished 9-9 in the Big South last year and was a step up in com­pe­ti­tion from the Pres­by­te­rian team that fin­ished 1-17 in the same league. High Point scored 100 points in its sea­son opener, but the Vols van­quished that of­fen­sive po­tency just like they did with Pres­by­te­rian.

The Pan­thers went 12 min­utes and 15 sec­onds be­tween field goals in the first half as the Vols trans­formed a 7-7 tie into a 39-7 lead and a 52-13 half­time ad­van­tage.

“I thought the first half we re­ally did play well de­fen­sively and did some good things,” Ten­nessee coach Rick Barnes said. “We knew they would at­tack — thought they would try and get up and down the floor.”

High Point’s fast-paced of­fense re­cov­ered in the sec­ond half but reached 50 points only af­ter the Vols went deep into their bench with un­der four min­utes left in the game.

Nine play­ers logged at least 13 min­utes for the Vols, led by James Daniel’s 28. The se­nior grad­u­ate trans­fer be­came the first Ten­nessee player since 2011 to dish out 10 as­sists in a game, and he did it with­out turn­ing the ball over. Daniel added two blocks and two steals to his stat line as he came off the bench and stead­ied a lineup led by 16 points each from guards La­monte Turner and Jor­dan Bone.

“I think he re­sponded well com­ing off the bench,” Barnes said. “Get­ting 10 as­sists and no turnovers is a good night for any­body.”

Turner con­nected on two straight treys to give the Vols a 15-7 lead with 13:27 re­main­ing in the first half. Bone added an­other to make it 20-7, and Turner’s third trey of the half made it a 19-0 run.

The Vols kept lay­ing it on of­fen­sively while hold­ing the Pan­thers to 21 per­cent shoot­ing in the first half. The run plateaued with 4:18 left in the half when Bone made two free throws.

Ad­mi­ral Schofield hit a con­tested 3-pointer just be­fore the fi­nal sec­onds of the first half ticked off the clock to send the Vols into half­time with quadru­ple the amount of points as their op­po­nent.

Ten­nessee has a week off be­fore fac­ing Pur­due next Wed­nes­day in Par­adise Is­land, Ba­hamas. The Vols’ last two op­po­nents in the event are to be de­ter­mined, but the event’s field also con­sists of No. 3 Ari­zona, No. 5 Vil­lanova, South­ern Methodist, Western Ken­tucky, North Carolina State and North­ern Iowa.

Fresh­man wing Yves Pons did not play Tues­day. He tweaked his an­kle dur­ing Fri­day’s game.

Ten­nessee guard Jor­dan Bow­den, right, at­tempts a shot against High Point dur­ing Tues­day’s game at Thomp­son-Bol­ing Arena.

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