KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UTSports.com)-- Tennessee pummeled Vanderbilt, 76-38, on Saturday afternoon with a record-setting defensive effort at Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols moved to 18-11 overall and 9-7 in the SEC, as UT makes a push for a Top 4 seed in the SEC Tournament which begins in Atlanta on March 12.
Vanderbilt's 38 points are the fewest scored by an opponent in TBA history. The previous low was 40 set by MTSU in 2007 and ETSU in 1996.
The Tennessee win by +38 points was the largest in the 185 meetings with Vanderbilt, dating to 1922. The previous largest margin was +35, in a 56-21 Vol win on Feb. 22, 1947.
In holding Vanderbilt to just 38 points, it was the fewest points scored by the Commodores in the series since that game in 1947, when they had 21.
The Commodores -- who beat Tennessee in Nashville, 64-60 on Feb. 5 -- fell to 15-13 overall and 7-9 in the league. Vanderbilt did not have a player score in double-figures.
The win was an important one for the Vols, who are also making a statement for a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Tennessee has two regular-season games remaining: at Auburn on Wednesday and vs. Missouri at home next Saturday.
Senior guard Antonio Barton netted a season-high 21 as he made a career-high tying 5-of-7 from 3-point range. The Vols are now 6-0 this season when Barton made three of more 3-pointers.
Junior Jarnell Stokes notched his 17th double-double of the season, third most in the nation as he had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Vols scored the first six points of the game and never looked back. Tennessee raced to a 24-6 lead in the game's first 10 minutes as Barton was red hot from 3-point range, making three trifectas early on.
The win was the 10th wire-to-wire win this season for the Vols and eighth at home.
Tennessee played a stellar first half on both ends of the floor as the Vols led 41-18 at intermission. UT equaled its best defensive first half in terms of fewest points allowed. The 18 points were also the fewest scored by Vanderbilt in the first half this season.
The Vols shot 57.7 from the floor including 58.3 from 3-point range (7-of-12). On the defensive end, Tennessee limited Vanderbilt to 31.8 percent and forced the Commodores into eight turnovers. Tennessee committed just two miscues in the first 20 minutes.
All eight Vols to see action in the first half scored as Tennessee received nine bench points and held Vanderbilt without a point from its reserves.
The second half saw the Vols continue their domination of the Commodores. A Stokes dunk and Barton's fourth 3-pointer of the game put Tennessee ahead 49-22 less than four minutes into the second half.
The lead ballooned to 35 points on a free throw by Jeronne Maymon with 7:36 left in regulation, making it 61-26.
Barton's fifth 3-pointer moved the margin to 40 with 1:26 left in regulation.
Tennessee retired the #14 jersey of the legendary Dale Ellis prior to the game. Ellis was a two-time All-American for the Vols during his career on Rocky Top from 1979-83.
The Vols play their final regular-season road game of the season on Wednesday, March 5 as Tennessee travels to Auburn.
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