James Daniel III came off the bench to make five 3-pointers and score 17 points as No. 18 Tennessee pulled away from LSU 84-61 in a Southeastern Conference game Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn.
Daniel made four of his 3-pointers in the second half, Grant Williams scored 16 and Jordan Bone and Lamonte Turner added 12 points each for Tennessee (16-5, 6-3 SEC). The Volunteers won their fourth consecutive game and matched their overall victory total for last season.
Duop Reath, who entered the game averaging 17.3 points in SEC play, scored 21 points to lead LSU (12-9, 3-6). Randy Onwuasor added 10 for the Tigers, who dressed just seven scholarship players.
Reserves Wayde Sims and Brandon Rachal served one-game suspensions for an unspecified violation of team rules, and two freshmen who seldom played were given “a leave of absence for the rest of the season.” The Tigers also dressed two walk-ons.
Tennessee led by 11 at halftime and by 13 three times early in the second half before LSU made a push. Skylar Mays made four free throws during a 10-3 run that got the Tigers within 53-47.
Then Daniel went to work, making four 3-pointers during a five-minute stretch as the Vols pushed the lead to 71-53 with five minutes remaining.
LSU went 5 1/2 minutes without scoring as Tennessee took a 19-8 lead midway through the first half.
Aaron Epps made a 3-pointer to end the Tigers’ drought, and Reath followed with a three-point play to get LSU within five points.
The Tigers got within five again before Williams made three baskets to help the Vols open a 37-25 lead.
Onwuasor made a basket for the Tigers and added two free throws that cut Tennessee’s lead to 42-31 at halftime.
The Vols had held their previous two opponents to fewer than 20 first-half points, as Vanderbilt scored 15 eight days ago and Iowa State scored 19 last Saturday.
The Volunteers host Ole Miss on Saturday, the same day the Tigers host Arkansas.
--Field Level Media