Freshmen Carry Vols to 103-49 Blow Out Victory Over Tenn Tech

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(utsports.com) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Six double-figure scorers and a lights-out shooting night led the 10th-ranked Tennessee basketball team to a resounding, 103-49 victory over Tennessee Tech Friday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The 54-point win was Tennessee’s (4-0) eighth-largest margin of victory in program history. Friday’s result over the Golden Eagles (0-8) also marked the most points the Vols have scored since dropping 106 on Arkansas on Jan. 15, 2019.

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The Volunteers finished the night shooting .583 from the field (42-72), along with a highly efficient .474 (9-19) mark from 3-point range. Tennessee also tallied a 4.0 assist/turnover ratio on the night (28 assists, seven turnovers).

Freshman Jaden Springer was UT’s leading scorer, dropping a season-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field while pulling in six rebounds and dishing off a season-high six assists. Springer did all of this in just 22 minutes of action, logging nearly one point per minute.

Sophomore Josiah-Jordan James and senior John Fulkerson also enjoyed impactful outings, with James tallying 15 points and six rebounds and Fulkerson totaling 13 points and six boards.

Victor Bailey Jr. was the third Vol to pour in at least 15 points, scoring his 15 on 5-of-8 shooting and draining both of his attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

Freshman Keon Johnson and senior Yves Pons were the fifth and sixth Vols to reach double-digit points, scoring 13 and 10, respectively.

Pons–the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year–also recorded two thunderous blocks in the first half to bring his season total to five.

After a fairly even start in the game’s opening minutes, the Orange & White busted things open with a 15-3 run spanning a stretch of four minutes to take a 23-9 lead at the under-12 media timeout, with Springer scoring 11 during the run.

As the half wore on, the Vols continued to assert themselves on the offensive end, finishing the half with a .583 shooting percentage (21-36) and taking a 49-22 advantage into the break.

Out of the locker room, UT continued to flex its muscle, extending its lead to as many as 58 in the second half to close out the 54-point triumph.

Defense Continues to Dominate: Through four games, the Vols have yet to allow an opponent to reach 60 points. Friday, the Vols held Tennessee Tech to 49 , while forcing 15 turnovers, nabbing eight steals and blocking eight shots.

Up Next: The Vols continue their busy stretch of games with a Monday night clash against Saint Joseph’s. Tipoff from Thompson-Boling Arena is set for 6 p.m. ET on SEC Network.

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.