EditorsNote: tweaked 2nd and 3rd grafs
Lamonte Turner’s 17 points and 12 assists paced No. 17 Tennessee to a 58-46 nonconference win over Chattanooga on Monday night in a defensive-minded slugfest in Knoxville, Tenn.
John Fulkerson scored all 14 of his points after halftime for the Volunteers (5-0) while Jordan Bowden chipped in with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Tennessee survived 37.3 percent field-goal shooting to extend the nation’s longest home winning streak to 30 games.
David Jean-Baptiste and Matt Ryan each scored nine points for the Mocs (3-3), who couldn’t muster up enough offense to offer a serious challenge. Chattanooga made only 33.9 percent of its field-goal tries and couldn’t make up for it with rebounding, as the Vols won that category 43-30 and allowed only six offensive boards.
The Mocs were as close as six points early in the second half, but Tennessee steadily pulled away behind its three big scorers. An 8-0 run, finished off when Fulkerson converted a layup off a Turner assist, upped the advantage to 52-36 with 5:33 left.
The Vols bagged only six points for the game’s remainder, but it didn’t matter. Chattanooga never got the margin closer than 10 points down the stretch.
The early story was Tennessee’s defense, which entered the game allowing just 57.3 points per game and holding opponents to 37 percent field-goal shooting. Chattanooga found out just how tough that defense is, managing only one field goal in a stretch of 10:12 in the first half.
The Volunteers didn’t shoot it that well, either, but they were able to keep the Mocs at arm’s length throughout the half. They opened up a 16-6 lead when Bowden sank a short jumper in the paint with 8:08 left in the half.
Tennessee led by 11 late in the half before settling for a 28-18 advantage at intermission. The major difference between the teams was ball movement. The Vols drew assists on 11 of their 12 first-half field goals while Chattanooga didn’t record a single assist before the break.
—Field Level Media