Tennessee finished its five-game European tour with a 104-95 victory over BK Klosterneuburg Friday evening just outside of Vienna, Austria. The Vols finished the tour with a 4-1 record.
“Finishing with a win means a lot because we won’t play again until November when the exhibition games start,” senior guard JaJuan Smith said. “It would be a long time before we could redeem ourselves. To go out a winner we can have a good offseason. This trip gave us a chance to see our weaknesses so that we know what we need to improve on to become better as a team and as individuals.”
Each of the 10 Tennessee players reached the scoring column, including five who reached double-digits. Sophomore Wayne Chism, who saw limited action in UT’s last game against Pezinok due to soreness in his knee, led all scorers with 28 points to go with 15 rebounds. Ryan Childress also turned in a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Seniors Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith each scored 15 points for the Vols.
Ramar Smith narrowly missed a triple-double with 10 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. Josh Tabb added seven points and 10 rebounds as the Vols outrebounded the Dukes 64-27.
At the end of the first quarter Tennessee held a 40-19 advantage in scoring and an 18-2 advantage on the boards. The Dukes rallied early in the third quarter, cutting UT’s lead to 14 points. However, the Vols’ defense responded to hold Klosterneuburg to just 15 fourth quarter points.
“I thought the second half defense was better,” Bruce Pearl said. We talked about it a lot at halftime. I thought the guys had been saving themselves a little bit for offense because we averaged 106 points in our five games over here. That is the area that we need to improve the most on and I thought we did in the second half.”
The game against Klosterburg concludes Tennessee’s games in Europe. The Vols will have their first “free day” on the trip to visit the sites in Vienna on their own. The players have had a busy schedule visiting castles in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, palaces in Austria, and touring the Terezin Concentration Camp in the Czech Republic.
“I still think the biggest gain is everything off the floor, the education parts of this trip” Pearl said. “I talked about it before we left and I think a lot of people thought that I was just saying that. On the days of games we toured castles, visited hospitals and interacted with the people here. I really feel like that has been the greatest part of the whole trip. We also did things like play Central European Jeopardy today as a part of Dr. (David) Tompkins’ class. We were quizzed and tested on different things and people in history.”
The Vols will depart Vienna on Sunday, arriving back in Knoxville late that evening.
Tennessee Summary (Points-Rebounds):
Wayne Chism 28-15, Ryan Childress 15-13, Chris Lofton 15-4, JaJuan Smith 15-1, Ramar Smith 10-9, Josh Tabb 7-10, Steven Pearl 6-4, Duke Crews 3-6, Jordan Howell 3-1, Tanner Wild 2-1.
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information