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Nashville, TN – Vanderbilt scored 18 points off turnovers to cruise to an 86-69 win over Tennessee Tuesday night at Memorial Gym.
With the loss, Tennessee (13-17, 6-11 SEC) has now dropped three consecutive games — matching its season-long losing streak. Vanderbilt (19-11, 11-6 SEC) stretched its win streak to four and has won six of its last seven games.
Tennessee true freshman Shembari Phillips led all scorers with a season-high 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting, including a 4-for-5 mark from 3-point range. Armani Moore scored 13 points, while Admiral Schofield added 12. Vanderbilt used a balanced scoring attack led by Wade Baldwin IV’s team-high 17 points. Four Commodores scored in double figures on the night.
Tennessee Men’s Basketball’s Shembari Phillips scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed a career-high seven boards in loss at Vanderbilt. (Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics)
Belying the 17-point, final margin, the teams shot evenly from the field. Vanderbilt shot 48 percent on 31-of-64 shooting, while the Vols shot 46 percent on 28-of-61 shooting. The Big Orange also shot 54 percent (7-of-13) beyond the arc compared to Vanderbilt’s 33 percent (7-of-21).
A Commodore advantage came at the free-throw line, where they went 17-of-21. The Vols only got to the line eight times in the game, going 6-of-8.
Tennessee found a second-half spark in Armani Moore, who scored eight points in the Vols’ 13-5 run that cut the Commodore lead to 13 at 55-42. The Vols shot 6-of-8 in that stretch.
Despite cutting the lead to 10 on two occasions in the second half, turnovers cost the Vols a shot at shrinking the deficit to single digits. The Vols committed four turnovers that contributed to a 15-0 Vanderbilt run midway through the second half.
Tennessee finished with 12 turnovers in the game. Vanderbilt committed only seven.
The Commodores entered the break with a 43-24 lead over the Vols after shooting 45 percent on 15-of-33 shooting. The Vols shot 41 percent on 10-of-26 shooting. Vanderbilt was able to get the shorthanded Volunteer roster in early foul trouble as Schofield and Devon Baulkman each took three fouls to the halftime break.
The combination of Tennessee’s early foul trouble and Vanderbilt’s size advantage proved problematic for the Big Orange as the Commodores out-rebounded the Vols, 23-14, and grabbed eight offensive boards in the first half. Vanderbilt also had a 20-8 advantage in the paint at halftime.
Vanderbilt took complete control midway through the first half, outscoring the Vols 28-8 over the final 7:18 of play. In that span, the Commodores shot 65 percent on 11-of-17 shooting. Tennessee, on the other hand, finished the half 3-of-12 shooting with four turnovers.
Armani Moore Reaches Double Figures Again
Armani Moore scored in double figures for the fifth consecutive game after posting 13 points vs. Vanderbilt. Moore scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first seven minutes of the second half, sparking a run that brought the Vols within striking distance.
The senior also added six assists, one shy of his career high that he set vs. LSU on February 20th.
Career Night For Shembari Phillips
Shembari Phillips set a new career high in points scored with his 23 vs. Vanderbilt. He went 8-of-17 from the field, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc and 3-of-3 from the free throw line. His previous high was 16 at South Carolina on February 24th.
He added to his impressive night with a career-high seven rebounds. He has brought down six boards twice this season.
His 23 points led the Big Orange in scoring, marking the first time this season Phillips accomplished that feat.
Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Highlights
Tennessee will return to Knoxville when it hosts Ole Miss on Senior Day Saturday. Tipoff is slated for noon ET/11:00am CT on the SEC Network.
The Volunteers lead the all-time series with Ole Miss, 70-42, dating to 1924.
Under the direction of head coach Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss is 18-11 (8-8 SEC) this season.