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Knoxville, TN – No. 18 Tennessee never trailed on its way to capturing its fourth straight SEC win, cruising by Ole Miss on Saturday night at Thompson-Boling Arena, 94-61.
The win was the Vols’ fifth straight overall, giving them their longest winning streak of the season. Tennessee held its opponent to less than 65 points for the seventh straight game, and led wire-to-wire for the third time this season.
Ole Miss (11-12, 4-6 SEC) threatened to take the lead early in the second half with a 7-0 run that cut Tennessee’s advantage to three points, but the Vols immediately answered with a 14-3 run to break away.
Tennessee Volunteers forward Kyle Alexander (11) moves the ball defended by LSU Tigers forward Duop Reath (1) during the second half at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tennessee won 84-61. (Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports)
The Vols shot 71% in the second half. After missing their first two shots they went on to make 20 of their last 26 field goals.
Following that stretch, the Rebels never got closer than 12 points.
Tennessee (17-5, 7-3 SEC) shot 53% for the game, including 13-for-29 from beyond the 3-point arc. The 13 made 3-pointers tied a season-high.
Turner was 5-for-6 from 3-point range, while Schofield notched a double-double with 12 rebounds to go along with his scoring production.
Bruce Stevens led Ole Miss with 17 points, and Terence Davis added 13. Deandre Burnett, who entered the game averaging 15.2 points per game, scored just seven points on 2-for-13 from the floor.
Despite Ole Miss’s zone defense giving Tennessee trouble for a large part of the first half, the Vols led for the entire first half and took a 35-25 lead into the break.
Williams and Alexander led Tennessee with eight points apiece in the opening stanza.
The Vols opened the game on a 12-3 run, capped off by 3-pointers from Yves Pons and James Daniel III, but the Rebels were able to cut that deficit all the way down to two at 17-15 with 7:52 remaining in the half.
From there, a 10-0 spurt helped Tennessee regain and maintain control for the rest of the first half.
Turner Off the Bench
For the third game in a row, Lamonté has come off the bench to score double-digit points for the Vols, dropping 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting Saturday night. The redshirt sophomore guard entered the contest as UT’s third-leading scorer on the year with 10.4 ppg.
Admiral Leading the Charge
Admiral Schofield posted his second double-double of the season on Saturday with an impressive 15-point, 12-rebound performance.
Defense Wins Championships
Tennessee played shutdown defense Saturday, forcing 17 turnovers by the Rebels behind 11 steals and seven blocks. Ole Miss’ 61 points marks the seventh consecutive game in which UT has held its opponent to less than 65 points.
Next Up for UT Men’s Basketball
Tennessee prepares for its toughest stretch for the rest of the regular season, with roads games against Kentucky (February 6th) and Alabama (February 10th). UT’s 6:00pm CT tip against the Wildcats will be televised on ESPN as part of Super Tuesday.