Vols take care of Jacksonville St. for Rick Barnes' 700th victory
A second-half offensive outburst propelled No. 21 Tennessee to a 75-53 win over Jacksonville State Saturday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The win stands as the 700th in Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes' stellar 33-year career.
Jordan Bowden led the Vols in scoring with 19 points, as John Fulkerson (16), Yves Pons (11) and Josiah-Jordan James (10) also scored in double figures.
Guard Lamonte Turner dished out 11 assists, marking his third game this season with double-digit assists. He became just the third player in program history to dish 11 assists or more in three games in the same season, joining Rodney Woods (1974-75) and Johnny Darden (1976-77 & 1977-78).
After the game, Turner—who has been battling lingering shoulder problems—announced his decision to step away from the court for medical reasons. A redshirt senior from Florence, Alabama, Turner graduated in May. In 106 career games, Turner scored 1,086 points and averaged 10.2 points and 3.3 assists per game.
As a team Saturday, Tennessee totaled 25 assists—its most in a single game this season. James also contributed a season-high six assists.
On the defensive end, Pons tied a program-record with six blocked shots, becoming just the seventh player in program history with six blocks in a game.
After Tennessee (8-3) took a four-point lead into halftime, the teams traded baskets to open the second half before the Vols' offense came alive with an 11-2 run—capped when Pons blocked a shot the defensive end before draining a 3-pointer on the offensive end.
A brief run by the Gamecocks (4-8) cut the deficit back down to eight, but Tennessee responded with another spurt, this time 10-0, to push the lead to 19 points and take full control. Tennessee scored 45 points in the second half—the most points it has scored in any half this season.
Following an evenly contested first half, the Vols led the Gamecocks 30-26 at halftime. Tennessee opened the game balanced on the offensive end, as each of the Vols' starters contributed one of the team's first five field goals.
The Vols used their quick start on the offensive end to jump out to a 13-6 lead early on, before Jacksonville State took advantage of a scoring drought by the Vols that lasted nearly seven minutes and took a 16-13 lead.
Highlighted by back-to-back threes from Bowden, Tennessee responded by rattling off an 8-0 run of its own to give the Vols control of the game heading into the break.
BARNES GETS 700TH: Rick Barnes captured the 700th win of his head coaching career against Jacksonville State, becoming the 22nd head coach to ever record 700 Division I wins and one of seven active coaches to eclipse the mark.
YVES PROTECTING THE RIM: Junior forward Yves Pons recorded a program-record-tying six blocked shots during Saturday's win,
It marked his sixth game this season with three or more blocks. Pons has blocked at least one shot in 11 consecutive games, a feat never accomplished by recent notable shot-blockers Grant Williams and Kyle Alexander.
FILLING UP TBA: Following Saturday's home contest, Tennessee is now averaging an attendance of 18,603 per game in its seven home games this season. That ranks third in the nation this season.
UP NEXT: Following a week-long break from action, Tennessee returns to the hardwood next Saturday, Dec. 28, against Wisconsin at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will tip off at 1:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS.