Vols rally to top UNC-Asheville, 72-69

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (school release) -- Cameron Tatum tallied 14 of his 17 points in the second half and Renaldo Woolridge scored a career-high 17 points as the Vols rallied for a 72-68 win over UNC Asheville on Tuesday night. Jeronne Maymon had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds for Tennessee (4-6). The Bulldogs (6-5) were led by Tennessee native J.P. Primm, who had 25 points.

Three Vols 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions gave the Vols their first lead since 2-0 at 56-55 with 7:37 left in the second half. Tatum's second three in the 11-3 spurt put the Vols ahead and put him into double-figures. The Bulldogs responded as Chris Stephenson made a pair of free throws but Hall responded with a quick dunk as UT went ahead 58-57 with seven minutes left.

After a Jeremy Atkinson bucket, Tatum canned another 3-pointer to put the Vols up 61-59 with 5:07 left and the Vols never trailed again. Tatum added two more free throws for a 63-59 Vols' edge.

A Kenny Hall (12 points) dunk put the Vols up 67-62 with 3:20 left. Maymon secured his fourth double-double of the season with on a free throw with 1:51 left in the game and a 68-64 UT lead.

Stephenson made one of two free throws with 52 seconds left to bring Asheville within one at 68-67. Trae Golden duplicated the effort on the other side for a 69-67 lead with 36 seconds left. Primm had another one-of-two effort at the line to make it a one-point game again (69-68).

Golden converted two free throws with 16.6 left, putting the Vols up 71-68. Asheville's Matt Dickey missed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left and Skylar McBee secured the win with a free throw with 8.4 left. A Josh Richardson blocked shot finished the game and ended the Vols' four-game losing streak.

The teams went more than three minutes without scoring as Asheville held a 51-45 lead. Primm returned to the foul-line and converted a pair to put the Bulldogs ahead 53-45 midway through the second half.

UNC Asheville led 35-32 at halftime as Woolridge tallied 13 points in the first half, making 5-of-7 from the floor. The Vols' trio of leading scorers (Golden, Jordan McRae and Maymon) combined for one point in the half. They came in averaging a combined 42 points per game.

The Bulldogs took their largest lead of the first half at 28-17 on a pair of Jon Nwannunu free throws with 4:56 left in the half. The Vols responded with a mini run of 12-2 to cut the deficit to one at 30-29 on three free throws by Richardson with 2:11 left in the first half.

UNC Asheville opened the game making eight of its first nine shots in building an 18-14 lead.

Down, 15-7 with 12:32 left in the first half, the Vols went on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 15-14 as Woolridge scored five of the seven points in the spurt.

The Vols return to action on Friday night as Tennessee hosts East Tennessee State at 7 p.m. That game will not televised, but can be watched via UTSports.com All-Access and heard statewide on the Vol Network.

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