KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- Junior Josh Richardson scored a season-high 19 points Monday night to lead the Tennessee Volunteers to a 82-67 victory over Morehead State at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee (7-4) snapped its two-game losing streak by posting team season bests in made field goals (32), rebounds (49), assists (20) and blocks (11).
Richardson led the Vols in scoring for the first time this season, finishing just one point shy of his career best. He also had eight rebounds and two assists.
Sophomore Derek Reese provided a spark off the bench in his season debut. After not playing the first 10 games of the season, Reese returned to the court to score a career-best 12 points to go along with a career-high and team-leading 10 rebounds in 19 minutes.
Morehead State (8-6) was led by Angelo Warner and Brent Arrington, who each scored 16 points.
After taking a 41-30 lead into halftime, Tennessee kept rolling ahead to start the second half, putting together a 13-0 run in the first three minutes. Senior Jeronne Maymon providing seven points during that stretch, completing a 3-point play to expand the Vols’ lead to 54-30 with 16:52 left to play.
The Vols led by as many as 26 points in the half on their way to victory.
Maymon led the Vols in second-half scoring. After collecting just two points in the first half, he scored 14 points after halftime to finish with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Tennessee controlled the basket the entire game. The Vols out rebounded Morehead State 49 to 28. Reese recorded 10 rebounds and junior Jarnell Stokes just missed out on a double-double, scoring 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Vols started pulling away midway through the first half. Leading early 16-12, Tennessee scored 11 unanswered points while Morehead went 0 for 6 from the field during that time. Derek Reese capped the UT run by driving through traffic for a layup to give the Vols built a 27-12 lead with 5:17 remaining in the half.
With team scoring leader Jordan McRae picking up two fouls early, Richardson led the way in the points column in the first half. He scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. He also had four rebounds.
The Vols pushed through Morehead State’s frequent press defense and shot a solid 61 percent (17 of 28) from the field in the first half, while holding Morehead State to 38 percent shooting (11 of 29). UT outrebounded the Eagles 21 to 12.
The Vols recorded 11 blocks, the most in the Cuonzo Martin era and the most by the Vols since 2000. Reese accounted for four blocks and McRae had three.
Tennessee continues its home stand Dec. 30 by hosting Virginia at 7 p.m. It is the third of four non-conference home games before the Vols open Southeastern Conference play Jan. 7 at LSU.
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