Tennessee’s one-two punch of forwards Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams led the 24th-ranked Volunteers to a 92-84 win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday night at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tenn.
Williams set a career high with 37 points, and Schofield tied a career high with 22 as the Volunteers won in Vanderbilt’s gym for the second consecutive season.
Tennessee shot 25 of 28 from the foul line, while the Commodores were just 15 of 22 on free throws.
Vanderbilt was led in scoring by freshman guard Saben Lee (21 points), with help from forward Jeff Roberson (19) and guards Riley LaChance (16) and Matthew Fisher-Davis (10).
Tennessee started to pull away midway through the second half, and Williams added the dagger late. After Williams missed a layup, the Volunteers retained possession with 1:28 left after the ball hit a Vanderbilt defender on the way out of bounds.
Williams then rattled home a short shot in the paint with 1:00 left, putting Tennessee up 85-77.
The Volunteers trailed by 10 at half but hit eight of their first 10 shots after the break, taking a lead on a Williams layup with 12:39 left off a feed from guard James Daniel.
The Commodores’ problem with Williams was more than the point total. The sophomore fouled out starting center D‘jery Baptiste with 5:59 left. Vanderbilt reserve Clevon Brown had four fouls with 8:55 left before fouling out later.
That also opened up the outside, where Tennessee got a number of good looks and was 6 of 8 on 3-point tries in the second half.
Williams had 17 first-half points on an array of mid-range jumpers and spin moves in the lane. Schofield added nine as the Vols led for most of the first half and went into the locker room up by 10.
Roberson led Vanderbilt with 10 first-half points, but it was Lee who provided the Commodores’ two biggest first-half highlights. He drove the right baseline and hammered home a dunk to put Vanderbilt up 35-30, and moments later, he hit a contested 3-pointer from straight away to give Vandy its biggest lead to that point at seven.
That advantage became 45-35 at the break, when LaChance just beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer from the left side.
--Field Level Media