EditorsNote: update 2: fixes “intentional” in sixth graf
No. 5 Tennessee got back to its winning ways on Tuesday evening, knocking off Vanderbilt 58-46 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Forward Grant Williams (14 points, 11 rebounds) and guards Lamonte Turner and Admiral Schofield (12 points each) paced Tennessee (24-2, 12-1 SEC). The Volunteers were playing in their first game since Kentucky snapped their 19-game winning streak on Saturday, knocking them from the country’s top ranking.
Freshman guard Aaron Nesmith (13 points) led Vanderbilt (9-17, 0-13), as the only player in double figures. The loss was the Commodores’ 14th straight, tying the all-time program record.
Both teams struggled to score for the first two-thirds of the second half, but Tennessee struggled more, allowing Vanderbilt to cut what had been a 14-point deficit to four on multiple occasions. The last came when forward Simisola Shittu hit a spinning layup with 8:29 left.
Finally, the Vols got going when Schofield hit a mid-range jumper and a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions, the latter coming with 6:15 left, putting Tennessee up 51-38.
Nesmith answered with a 3-pointer followed by a tough reverse layup. Vanderbilt then caught a break when Schofield was whistled for an intentional foul on Shittu with 4:03 left. But Shittu hit one of two free throws, and the Commodores couldn’t convert two chances on the next possession. They never got closer than seven again.
Vanderbilt led 13-12 early, and then Turner took over for a spell. He converted a four-point play after Yanni Wetzell knocked him to the floor on a 3-point shot with 11:59 left in the first half.
Fifty seconds later, Turner knocked down an open trey. Later, with 4:32 left and the shot clock running down, he hit another 3-pointer to give the Vols their first double-figure advantage at 30-20.
That lead grew to 14 before the Commodores scored the half’s final five points to trail 36-27.
Williams attempted just one foul shot, missing it, after a 23-for-23 performance in Nashville in the first meeting on Jan. 23.
—Field Level Media