Tennessee motors past Mercer
Sophomore forward Grant Williams scored 21 points to help Tennessee roll to an 84-60 victory over Mercer on Wednesday night in nonconference play at Knoxville, Tenn.
Sophomore guard Jordan Bowden 16 of his season-best 18 points in the first half for the Volunteers, who shot 55.6 percent from the field. Junior forward Admiral Schofield had 10 points for Tennessee (5-1).
Senior guard Jordan Strawberry scored a season-best 20 points for the Bears (5-3). Sophomore guard Ethan Stair added 11 points for Mercer, which shot 37.8 percent from the field.
The Volunteers never trailed and were 13 of 25 from 3-point range. Tennessee scored 32 points off 20 Mercer turnovers.
The 20-point outing was the third of the season for Williams, and Bowden made 7 of 10 shots from the field.
Strawberry, the son of former baseball star Darryl Strawberry, made three of Mercer’s seven 3-point baskets.
The Bears trailed by 25 points at halftime but inched within 51-34 on Strawberry’s basket with 17:06 remaining. Sophomore guard Lamonte Turner hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cap an 11-2 run to push the Tennessee lead to 26 with 14:42 remaining.
The Volunteers’ lead topped out at 30 points on a three-point play by Williams with 9:56 left.
Tennessee led 49-24 at the break after making 12 of its final 13 first-half shots. The Volunteers were 18 of 27 in the half.
Bowden was 6 of 7 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
Bowden and Schofield each drained 3s during a 10-0 burst that saw the Volunteers open a 28-7 lead with 7:38 left in the half.
Junior guard Chris Darrington’s layup gave Tennessee a 28-point lead with 1:26 to play.