Second half surge sends Vols past Tennessee Tech, 84-63

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- After a back-and-forth first half, the Tennessee Volunteers rolled past Tennessee Tech after halftime in a 84-63 victory Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Playing in their first game since the Battle 4 Atlantis last weekend in the Bahamas, the Vols (6-2) started the second half on a 22-3 run to put the game out of Tennessee Tech’s reach.

The Vols held Tennessee Tech (5-6) without a field goal for 7 minutes, 37 seconds, shortly after halftime. By the time Tennessee Tech scored again — a 3-pointer by Ty Allen — Tennessee led 63-46 with 11:20 remaining in the game.

Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy candidate Jarnell Stokes led the way for the Vols by recording his fourth consecutive double-double. He finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, six of them on the offensive end. He also had two assists and two blocks.

Four Vols ended the game with more than 10 points. Senior Jordan McRae – also a Wooden and Naismith candidate – had 16 points, and sophomore Josh Richardson matched his season-high 13 points. Senior Jeronne Maymon added 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting.

After shooting 55 percent in the first half with eight 3-pointers, Tennessee Tech’s shooting accuracy slumped after halftime. The Golden Eagles shot only 38 percent in the second half, including 2 of 9 from the 3-point arc.

Tennessee finished the night shooting 31 of 66 field goals (47 percent).

The Vols found themselves in a trailing by as many as seven points early in the first half, thanks to Tennessee Tech’s strong long-distance shooting.

With Tennessee behind 34-27, Stokes and Richardson sparked a 10-0 run to get Tennessee right back in the game. A three-point play by Richardson tied the score at 34-34, and Stokes ended the run with a layup to give Tennessee 37-34 lead with 2:34 left in the first half.

Stokes almost scored a double-double by halftime. He had 11 points and nine rebounds, four of them on the offensive end.

Tennessee Tech put together an excellent shooting performance in the first half. The Eagles shot 15 of 26 from the field, including 8 of 11 from the three-point arc.

Jordan Johnson was 5 of 5 from the floor with four 3-pointers in the first half. He had 15 points at halftime and was held scoreless in the second half. Allen had 14 points.

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