Vols run past Eastern Kentucky, 95-67
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 6 Tennessee's starting five combined for 72 points, fueling the Volunteers to a 95-67 victory over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Four Vols scored in double figures, headlined by a double-double from junior forward Grant Williams. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native posted 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists and was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free-throw line. The performance marked Williams' seventh career double-double.
Senior guard Admiral Schofield poured in 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, while junior point guard Jordan Bone added 14 points and seven assists for the Big Orange. Sophomore wing Yves Pons posted a career-high 10 points in his first collegiate start to round out UT's double-digit scorers.
EKU's Nick Mayo paced all scorers with 23 points on the night while also leading the Colonels with nine boards. The senior forward went 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Tennessee (5-1) pulled down a season-high 50 rebounds, including a season-best 18 boards on the offensive end. The Vols outscored the Colonels 48-20 in the paint, and UT had 25 points off of 20 EKU turnovers.
Williams and Schofield led the second-half charge with 12 and 10 points over the final 20 minutes, respectively. Sophomore guard Jacob Fleschmanknocked down a 3-pointer with nine seconds left in the game to vault UT to a season-high 95 points.
Tennessee's 21-3 run midway through the first half gave the Vols a comfortable 32-14 lead with 6:53 remaining in the opening period. UT led by at least 13 points the rest of the way, as the Big Orange cruised to their fifth non-conference win of the 2018-19 campaign.
Williams clogged the first-half stat sheet with nine points, eight boards, four assists and three blocks in the first half. Schofield tallied 10 points in the opening frame to lead all scorers, while Pons added eight points on three-of-four shooting from the field over the first 20 minutes.
The Big Orange crashed the boards in the opening period, pulling down 33 rebounds compared to 16 for the Colonels (3-4). UT's 33 rebounds were its most in a half this season. Additionally, the Vols earned a 12-0 advantage in first-half fast-break points, including a pair of breakaway dunks from Pons and Jordan Bowden late in the half.
PONS EARNS FIRST CAREER START: Yves Pons cracked the starting lineup against Eastern Kentucky, marking his first career start. The sophomore knocked down a 3-pointer to open the scoring for the Vols. The Fuveau, France, native finished the night with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting along with five rebounds and a pair of blocks in 22 minutes. All of last season, Pons totaled 17 points in 24 games.
MILESTONE FOR THOMPSON-BOLING ARENA: Wednesday's contest marked the 500th game the Tennessee's men's basketball team has played inside Thompson-Boling Arena. The Vols' all-time record in TBA is 371-129 (.742).
SCORING EARLY, OFTEN AND EFFICIENTLY: In the first six games to start the season, Tennessee has dropped at least 45 points in the first half on four occasions. Last year, UT accomplished that feat a total of five times. Against the Colonels, the Vols took a 49-28 lead into intermission, which was one point shy of tying their season-high for points in a half. Also, for the fourth time this season, the Big Orange shot better than 50 percent from the floor, converting 35-of-69 attempts from the field.
ALL-SEC DUO ECLIPSES 20 POINTS EACH: For the second time this season, Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams both eclipsed the 20-point mark in the same game. Williams finished with 21 points, while Schofield added 20 on 8-of-9 shooting.
UP NEXT: The Vols return to Thompson-Boling Arena Sunday for a noon tip against the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders. The game will be televised on SEC Network.