Bowden's 26 pace Vols past Murray State, 82-63
Knoxville (UTsports.com) -- Behind a career-high 26 points from Jordan Bowden, Tennessee extended its nation-leading home win streak to 28 games with a 82-63 win over Murray State on Tuesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
In addition to his career-best mark in points, Bowden hit a career-high six three-pointers, finishing 6-for-8 from beyond the arc. For the second consecutive game, Yves Pons set a new career-best in points with 19.
Senior guard Lamonte Turner dished out a career-high 14 assists, the most by a Vol in a single game since 1994 (LaMarcus Golden). John Fulkerson for the second straight game narrowly missed out on a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Tennessee (2-0) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half and faced a nine-point deficit heading into halftime. After the Vols and Racers battled evenly to start the second half, the Tennessee offense came alive with an 18-5 run capped off by a Fulkerson three-point play that put the Vols in front, 64-58.
Fulkerson's three-point play was preceded by a three-pointer from Bowden, which gave Tennessee its first lead since the 18:53 mark of the first half.
Following the run that gave the Vols the lead, Tennessee went on to close the game on a 16-0 run – holding Murray State (1-1) scoreless over the final 7:21.
In the opening frame, Murray State led for more than 18 minutes and took a 44-35 lead into the break. The Racers hit eight of their first 14 three-point attempts on their way to a 54 percent shooting mark through the game's first 20 minutes.
Pons led all scorers in the first half with 13 points.
DEFENDING HOME COURT: Tuesday's win over Murray State was Tennessee's nation-leading 28th consecutive home win, which ties the third-longest home win streak in program history. Dating back to last season, the Vols have won nine straight games at home by double digits.
TURNER MAKES HISTORY: Lamonte Turner dished out 14 assists during Tennessee's win, the most by a Vol in a single game since LaMarcus Golden also had 14 on Jan. 19, 1994. Turner's performance is only the eighth game in program history in which a Vol has tallied 14 or more assists.
PONS OFF TO QUICK START: Yves Pons has posted back-to-back double-digit scoring games after averaging just 1.6 points per game entering the season. After a then-career-high 15-point outing in the season-opener against UNC Asheville, Pons registered a new career-high 19 points against Murray State.
Pons also had made only nine career three-pointers entering the 2019-20 season, but has made four in the season's first two games. His three threes against Murray State are his most in a single game. Pons also set a career-high in blocks against the Racers with four.
UP NEXT: Tennessee travels north of the border to Toronto for the James Naismith Classic, where it is set to face Washington on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. The game will air on ESPN+.