Knoxville, TN – In front of a sold out Thompson-Boling Arena crowd, No. 3 Tennessee Vols basketball team dominated its Southeastern Conference opener from the opening whistle, blitzing Georgia in a 96-50 win.
Led by a combined 56 points from Jordan Bowden (20), Grant Williams (18) and Admiral Scofield (18), Tennessee (12-1, 1-0 SEC) led Georgia (8-5, 0-1 SEC) by as many as 49 points en route to a 46-point victory Saturday afternoon. The 46-point scoring margin tied the second largest margin of victory over an SEC opponent in Tennessee program history.
Tennessee Men’s Basketball rolls over Georgia at Thompson-Boling Arena, Saturday. (UT Athletics)
Through nine games inside of Thompson-Boling Arena this season, the Vols have outscored their opponents by an average of 25.9 points per game as this is the largest margin of victory this season.
Kyle Alexander finished with a career-high 14 rebounds as he notched his second double-double of the season, finishing with 12 points in the game.
Alexander grabbed eight rebounds in the first half to pace him to his new career high. This is the second time this season he has had double-digit rebounds in a game.
After taking a 29-point lead into the halftime interval, Tennessee continued to build on its lead as a Williams three from the left wing pushed the lead over the 30-point barrier.
The Vols continued to clamp down defensively as they limited the Bulldogs to just 30.8 percent shooting in the second half and allowing just one three pointer on 12 attempts. Georgia finished 1-of-20 in the game.
Tennessee was able to get to rim in the second half as 10 of the 17 made buckets were layups with five of those coming on the fastbreak.
Williams proved tough to handle from the jump. The junior forward got to the line on the opening two possessions, converting on two free throw opportunities. Williams then worked his post-game to extending the lead to 9-4 at 16:31 mark after a knocking down a fadeaway over two Georgia defenders.
Williams was fouled eight times in the first half, attempting 11 free throws in total. The Charlotte N.C. native converted nine of his attempts, leading the team with 15 points in the first half.
Schofield picked up the scoring from there, scoring the next eight points for the Vols including converting an and-one layup off the pass from Williams.
A Schofield three from the right wing at the 12:02 mark in the half helped spark an 18-2 Vols run over the next 5:00 to extend the lead to 32-14. Schofield finished with 13 points in the first knocking down both of his three pointers.
Bowden joined Williams and Schofield in double figures converting on 5-of-7 attempts from the field in the first half, finishing the first 20 minutes of play. Bowden punctuated his 13-point first half with a run out slam to extend the lead to 23 with just under two minutes to play in the first.
With a Derrick Walker free throw make with 13 seconds remaining in the half, Tennessee extended its lead out to 29 points as the Vols took a 53-24 edge into locker room. It was the most points Tennessee scored in the first half this season and the largest lead they have had after 20 minutes of play,
Over the course of its past four games — contests against Memphis, Samford, Wake Forest, Tennessee Tech and Georgia — Tennessee has shot a combined 163-for-291 (56 percent) from the field. The Vols have eclipsed 50 percent shooting during each of those five games.
Dimes For Days
Tennessee registered 25 assists in the win over Georgia, the 10th game of 20 or more assists for the Vols this season. All 10 UT players who notched more than two minutes of court time had an assist in the game with Jordan Bone and Williams tying for the team high with five a piece.
Among SEC teams, no other team has more than five games of that variety, while no other team ranked in the top 25 has done it more than seven times.
Tennessee converted 22-of-26 free throw attempts in the game as the Vols helped build their first half lead from the charity stripe. They knocked down 15-of-18 tries in the first half as Georgia fouled Tennessee 13 times including eight drawn by Grant Williams.
Limiting The Bulldogs
Entering Saturday’s game against Tennessee, Georgia ranked second in the country in defensive rebounding (32.0), fourth in blocks per game (6.3) and seventh in total rebounds per game (43.2). The Vols held Georgia to just 21 defense rebounds, two blocks and 30 total rebounds.
The Bulldogs had also scored at least 80 points in six games, and were limited to just 50.
Georgia’s Nicolas Claxton came into today contest as the reigning SEC Player of the Week. The Vols were able to get the 6-11 sophomore in early foul trouble as with 4:01 left in the first half Claxton had picked up his fourth foul of the game.
Claxton, who came in ranked eighth in the nation in blocks and 15th in rebounding (10.2 rpg), finished the game with just six points and five rebounds in 24 minutes of play.
Bulldog’s leading scorer, Rayshaun Hammonds, finished with zero points in the game after coming in averaging 15.0 points per game. The sophomore forward was also limited to one rebound in the game after coming in averaging 6.9 rebounds per game.
Up Next for Tennessee Vols
The Vols travel to Columbia, Mo. on Tuesday for their first road contest in SEC play. Tennessee will square off with Missouri at 7:00pm with the game airing on ESPN2.
SectionsAssociations, Basketball (Men), Colleges, Featured Story, NCAA, Southeastern Conference, Sports, University of Tennessee
TopicsAdmiral Schofield, Bulldogs, Columbia MO, Derrick Walker, ESPN2, Georgia, Grant Williams, Jordan Bone, Jordan Bowden, Knoxville TN, Kyle Alexander, Memphs, Missouri, Nicolas Claxton, Rayshaun Hammonds, Samford, SEC, Southeastern Conference, Tennessee, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee Vols, Thompson-Boling Arena, UT, UT Basketball, UT Men's Basketball, UT vols, Vols, Volunteers, Wake Forest