Senior Jordan Bowden scored 19 of his career-high 26 points in the second half as Tennessee came from behind to beat Murray State 82-63 on Tuesday in Knoxville, Tenn., extending the nation’s longest home winning streak to 28 games.
Bowden’s 3-pointer with 10:38 remaining gave the Volunteers a 59-58 lead, their first advantage since 2-0. He later hit back-to-back threes to give Tennessee a 74-63 lead as the Vols outscored the Racers 47-19 in the second half.
Junior Yves Pons had a career-high 19 points as he made 8 of 10 shots from the floor. He kept the Vols in range in the first half when the Racers extended their lead to as many as 12 points.
Part of Tennessee coach Rick Barnes’ message this week was centered around cutting down turnovers, and point guard Lamonte Turner obliged. He ran the team from the point impeccably well, recording 14 assists and no turnovers while playing 39 minutes.
Turner struggled from the field, going 2 of 12, but his first field goal, with 12:14 remaining, tied the game at 54-54.
The Volunteers (2-0) turned up their defense in the second half as they held the Racers to 30.8 percent from the field after Murray State was at an even 50 percent in the first half.
Tevin Brown led three Racers in double figures with 17 points. He and Jaiveon Eaves scored 12 points each in the first half to pace Murray State (1-1) to a 44-35 lead after the first 20 minutes.
“Coach was telling us to stay focused and continue our game plan on defense because we were giving them some easy 3-point shots which we shouldn’t do,” Bowden said.
Murray State made 8 of 14 3-point attempts in the first half but was only 1 of 9 in the second 20 minutes.
—Field Level Media