MEMPHIS, Tenn. (UT Release) - Despite 22 points by Trae Golden, the Vols suffered a 69-51 loss at Memphis on Wednesday night. Tennessee's four-game winning streak was snapped as the Vols record leveled at 7-7 heading into the SEC opener vs. No. 13 Florida on Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Tigers (9-5) used a strong low-post game, outscoring the Vols 38-22 inside. Antonio Barton led Memphis with 19 points and Tarik Black tallied 18, as he made 7-of-8 from the floor. Will Barton, came off the bench to score 10 points.
It was Golden's third game this season with 20 or more points and came on the heels of a career-high tying 29 vs. Chattanooga on Monday night.
Memphis played great defense, holding the Vols to 36.2 from the floor and just 5-of-21 from the 3-point line. Memphis outrebounded the Vols by +10, 36-26. Black topped the Memphis board charts. Jeronne Maymon had nine points and nine rebounds in his follow-up to his career performance of 32 points and 20 rebounds in the rematch between the teams.
The Tigers continued to pull away as the Vols struggled from the floor all game. Joe Jackson had two key fastbreak lay-ups and Antonio Barton nailed a 3-pointer with 4:44 left for a 56-41 lead for the Tigers.
Memphis took a 10-point lead at 37-27 on a 3-point field goal by Antonio Barton with 15:21 left in the second half. Cameron Tatum answered with a 3-pointer just seconds later. The Vols trailed 28-20 at halftime as defense was on full display.
Tennessee was limited to just 30 percent from the floor (9-of-30). Golden had 10 points including a pair of 3-pointers to lead all scorers in the first 20 minutes. The officials allowed the teams to play as only seven personal fouls were called and the Vols didn't go to the free-throw line. Memphis was forced into eight first-half turnovers, which the Vols converted to half of their points.
Wednesday's game was a rematch of an epic 99-97 double-overtime win by the Tigers back on Nov. 22 in Maui.
Tennessee returns home to host No. 13/14 Florida on Saturday at 11 a.m. to open SEC play.. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and can be heard statewide on the Vol Network.
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