Tennessee has displayed a solid inside-outside balance en route to five victories in its first six games, and entering Sunday’s road matchup at Georgia Tech looks for Grant Williams and Jordan Bowden to continue their strong play. Williams averages 16.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while excelling in the paint, while Bowden leads the SEC by hitting 61 percent of his 3-point attempts.
“Our defense leads to easy opportunities on offense, and that allows us to do well,” Williams told reporters after Wednesday’s 84-60 victory over Mercer, a game in which the Volunteers raced to a 28-7 lead in the first half. The Yellow Jackets suffered a huge upset loss at home Friday, falling to Grambling State 64-63 after trailing by 16 points and then inadvertently tipping a shot into the wrong basket with 6.5 seconds to go. “We just have to keep our heads up,” Georgia Tech guard Jose Alvarado told the media after scoring 20 of his 22 points in the second half. Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech’s leading scorer last season who has completed a six-game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits, has an infection in his left index finger and may not play until later this month.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT TENNESSEE (5-1): The Volunteers have started games fast this season, outscoring opponents by 18.3 points in the first half and holding the opposition to 23.7 points in the opening 20 minutes. Williams is 22-for-43 from the field in his past three games and has scored 20 or more points three times in his past four games. Bowden has made 9-of-15 3-point attempts in his past three contests and scored a season-high 18 points against Mercer.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (4-2): Center Ben Lammers averages 14.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, but a sprained ankle limited him to four points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field against Grambling State. Alvarado hit four 3-pointers Friday and leads the Yellow Jackets in scoring at 14.7 points per game, shooting 51.8 percent from the field. Georgia Tech is 12th nationally in scoring defense at 59.5 points allowed per game.
1. Friday’s defeat snapped a seven-game home winning streak for Georgia Tech.
2. Georgia Tech G Tadric Jackson scored 19 points Friday in his first start of the season.
3. The Volunteers beat Georgia Tech 81-58 last season as Williams scored 14 points.
PREDICTION: Tennessee 68, Georgia Tech 60