The No. 20 Tennessee Volunteers played extremely strong defense at the start of both halves, defeating the Alabama State Hornets 76-41 on Wednesday night in Knoxville, Tenn.
Four Tennessee starters scored in double figures, enabling the Vols (4-0) to steadily outpace the Hornets (0-4). Both halves started the same way, setting the tone for the game.
Alabama State hit just two field goals, both 3-pointers, in the game’s first nine minutes.
With 11 minutes left in the first half, Tennessee led 13-6. The Volunteers’ offense was almost as sluggish, scoring a modest 16 points in the first 13:25. However, the Vols picked it up, scoring 18 points in the remaining 6:35 of the half for a 34-23 halftime lead.
Tennessee’s defense help extend the Vols’ lead from 11 at the half to 50-28 with 11 minutes left in the game. The home team cruised from that point to remain unbeaten.
Jordan Bowden led Tennessee with 16 points followed by Lamonte Turner (13), Yves Pons (11) and John Fulkerson (10).
Turner added six assists to facilitate Tennessee’s offense. Josiah-Jordan James grabbed 13 rebounds for the Vols.
Tennessee’s defensive prowess emerged in several ways. The Vols collected nine steals and had eight blocked shots. Bowden had four of Tennessee’s nine steals. Tennessee forced 19 turnovers and limited Alabama State to 28 percent shooting (14 of 50). Alabama State was just 4 of 20 on 3-point shots (20 percent).
Tobi Ewuosho led Alabama State with 17 points on 4-for-9 shooting. He was 7 of 8 from the free throw line.
—Field Level Media