EditorsNote: revises third graf with Auburn’s loss
Junior forward Admiral Schofield scored 24 points to lead No. 16 Tennessee to a 76-54 victory over Mississippi State on Tuesday in Southeastern Conference play at Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Miss.
Sophomore guard Lamonte Turner added 12 points for the Volunteers (22-7, 12-5 SEC), who won for the 10th time in the past 12 games. Tennessee made 11 consecutive field-goal attempts during the second half and finished 56.3 percent from the field.
The Volunteers moved into a first-place tie with Auburn, which lost to Arkansas on Tuesday.
Junior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon scored 17 points and younger brother Nick, a freshman guard, tallied 11 for the Bulldogs (21-9, 9-8). Junior forward Aric Holman added 10 points for Mississippi State, which had a three-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 18-2 at home.
The Bulldogs shot 39.2 percent from the field, including 28.6 percent in the second half.
The Volunteers, who held a 34-24 rebounding edge, shot 68.2 percent from the field in the second half while turning a close game into a rout.
“We started running good offense. A really good win. Everybody who played contributed,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said in a postgame interview on the SEC Network. “I thought it was a total team effort, total team win today.”
Mississippi State trailed 44-40 with 16:36 remaining before Tennessee began pulling away with a 20-5 burst.
Schofield’s three-point play with 12:08 to play gave the Volunteers a 56-42 advantage. Quinndary Weatherspoon converted a three-point play with 11:54 remaining but it didn’t halt the momentum as Tennessee scored the next eight with Turner’s jumper making it 64-45 with 8:40 to play.
Turner buried a 3-pointer — the team’s 11th straight successful field goal — to again make the margin 19 with 5:11 remaining.
Schofield had 11 first-half points as Tennessee recovered from an eight-point deficit to hold a 40-34 lead at the break.
Quinndary Weatherspoon drained a 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 25-17 lead with 9:44 left in the half before the Volunteers took over.
Tennessee scored eight straight points and tied the game on a jumper by sophomore guard Jordan Bone with 7:17 remaining. The Volunteers finally went ahead at 32-30 on a layup by freshman forward Derrick Walker with 3:40 to play.
—Field Level Media