KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Vols used a 29-9 run midway through the second half to surge from behind and post a 85-62 win over ULM on Tuesday night. Tennessee (2-0) departs for the EA Sports Maul Invitational early Wednesday morning, where the Vols will face No. 6 Duke and all-time winningest men's coach Mike Krzyzewski on Monday night.
Reining SEC Player of the Week Trae Golden once against led the Vols with 17 points and a career-high 11 assists. He was one of five players to score in double-figures. Joining Golden were Skylar McBee (career-high 15), Cameron Tatum (13), Jeronne Maymon (11) ad Josh Richardson (career-high 11). Maymon also notched his first-career double-double with 11 boards.
The Vols had two players with double-doubles in the same game for the first time since Nov. 13, 2009 vs. Austin Peay when Wayne Chism (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Tyler Smith (14 points, 11 rebounds) did so.
Golden's assist mark of 11 was also the most by a Vol since Bobby Maze had 11 vs. Chattanooga on Nov. 15, 2008.
After being outrbounding by UNC Greensboro 34-31 in the opener, the Vols muscled up and outboarded the Warhawks, 46-27.
The Vols shot 57.1 in the second half after making just 31.3 percent in the second half to finish at 44.8 percent.
ULM was led by Fred Brown, who tallied 18.
TENNESSEE POSTGAME QUOTES:
Coach Cuonzo Martin:
“I have to give a lot of credit to Louisiana-Monroe with the way they cut on offense and the way they executed their offense. I didn’t think we did a very good job in the first half of defending but I think a lot of credit goes to those guys with the way they cut and the way they moved. They were passing the ball and using the dribble to get to the lane. I thought they did a good job with that motion-type offense, the flair screens, the cuts and the slips to the basket. It’s a very efficient offense and I thought Coach (Richard) did a great job with his guys executing it.
“I thought Trae (Golden) once again had a good night, I think 17 points and 11 assists. That’s impressive, especially against somewhat of a matchup-zone where it’s hard to penetrate through the seams. I thought he did a good job of keeping his composure, accepting the challenge on the defensive side of the ball and just really competing and running our team.
“Skylar did a really good job of running in transition. Josh (Richardson) in the second half of really springing in transition and allowing Trae to find those guys to get easy baskets. That was good.
“I thought Dwight (Miller) gave us some key minutes coming off the bench. He played with a level of confidence, getting the ball inside to him and making moves one-on-one. They did a good job of really clamping down, but he was making quick moves to the basket and I thought that part was good.
“I thought we picked it up in the second half defensively. We kept our composure and made the necessary switches on their cuts and tight curls. When they went small a couple times, I thought our big guys did a good job the last 10 minutes of the game of really switching when they had the four guards out there. That’s not an easy thing to do with that type of switching and cutting. You have 6-8 guys defending that and have to carry out those assignments on the perimeter. I thought they did do a good job with that.
“We did a great job of rebounding the ball. In the first half, we didn’t finish as well as we like, but we did a great job of rebounding. That part was good to see our guys attacking the glass. I think the thing for me that was probably one of the most impressive, if not the most impressive, was one turnover in the second half. We spend a lot of time of really taking care of the ball. I thought in the first half we were rushing shots and really looking for individual offense. Not to say that the guys were selfish, but I thought it was an individual thing. You get up 9-0, and the focus goes from just putting a team away through our defense and now it’s like, ‘Let’s get shots up.’ I thought we did a good job making necessary adjustments in the second half and not turning the ball over.”
Junior guard Skylar McBee
On his role on the team
“My role is to play 100 percent on the defensive end, help pick up the team’s energy, knock down open shots, and be positive voice for our team when we are not playing so good. When we are playing good, to make sure the guys are being celebrated.”
On the team’s play in the second half
“We knew we did not play up to our potential in the first half and did not have the energy we needed to have. The coaches stressed that at halftime and we knew what we needed to do in the second half. Coach Martin told us what do on the defense, the adjustments we needed to make and to go out there and do it.”
Sophomore guard Trae Golden
On his improved play in the second half when he eight assists and no turnovers
“I was depressed with my play in the first half because I had three turnovers. I wanted to come out in the second half, get my teammates going and lead the team anyway I can.”
Junior Forward Jeronne Maymon
(on the difference between the first and second halves)
“We were a lot more patient. We just waited more on offense to develop some of our shots.”
(on what Coach Martin told the team at halftime)
“Coach told us to be patient, let the offense develop and let everything come to us. I think that really helped us.”
(on Tennessee’s bench production)
“I was really proud of those guys with what they came out there and did. They showed poise and gave us a lift.”
(on Trae Golden)
“Trae did a really good job of feeding the open shooters and getting everybody in the right positions to open up the offense.”
(on Tennessee’s upcoming trip to Maui)
“It’s a business trip. We’re going out there with hopes to win games.”