MONDAY MEN'S BASKETBALL RESULTS
|Tennessee 87, Virginia 52
|South Carolina 92, Marshall 65
|Ole Miss 79, Western Kentucky 74
|Saint Louis 57, Vanderbilt 49
|Auburn 91, Arkansas Pine-Bluff 59
Hot-Shooting Vols Dominate Virginia, 87-52
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Playing one of the nation's top defensive teams didn't slow down Tennessee on Monday night. The Vols posted a dominating 87-52 victory over Virginia. Tennessee improved to 8-4 overall, Virginia is now 9-4 as the calendar turns to 2014.
The win by +35 was the largest margin of victory in the Cuonzo Martin era, besting a 31-point win over The Citadel (12/29/11) in his first season. It was UT's largest win in a game since a 39-point win over East Carolina, 105-66 on Nov 20, 2009.
Virginia came into the game allowing just 54.2 points per game, Tennessee went to work early and scored 48 points in the first half -- the most allowed by Virginia in a first half in 118 games. The last time the Cavaliers allowed more points in the first 20 minutes was on Nov. 22, 2010 (55 by Washington).
Against a team allowing foes to shoot just 37.0 percent from the floor, Tennessee shot 50.0 for the game including 57.7 percent in the first half including 8-of-11 from the field. Antonio Barton (14 points) added the exclamation point to the first half with a half-court 3-pointer as time expired to put the Vols up 48-26.
Wooden Award candidate Jordan McRae led the Vols with 21 points. Jarnell Stokes tallied 20 as Tennessee had four players score in double-figures. Stokes make a career-high 12-of-14 from the foul line.
Josh Richardson scored 15 of his career-high tying 20 points in the first half as he made all six of his shots including three 3-pointers in the first period. Richardson finished a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point land.
Barton was also perfect in the first half, making four buckets, three from beyond the arc.
Virginia was led by Justin Anderson (11). Their leading scorer Joe Harris, also a Wooden Award candidate, was limited to seven points. The Vols' defense held the Cavs to 32.7 percent from the floor and 16.7 from 3-point range.
Tennessee shot 61.1 percent from 3-point range, 11-of-18. The Vols committed just six turnovers.
Tennessee jumped out to a 16-6 lead on back-to-back 3-pointers by McRae and Richardson less than six minutes into the game.
The lead moved to 21-8 as Richardson was red-hot making his first five shots of the game including a pair of treys.
Tennessee made its first five 3-point field goal attempts in the game and 10-of-15 overall from the floor to build a 27-10 lead in the game's first nine minutes.
The lead moved to 24 points on a pair of free throws by McRae with four minutes left in the first half.
Coming into the game, Virginia's largest deficit of the season was 14 points (against Wisconsin). The Vols led by that many, less than nine minutes into the game.
Barton's bomb at the end of the half sent Tennessee into the locker room with its largest lead since a 50-26 advantage over Kentucky last season. The 48 points were the most in a first half since that UK game.
The Vols maintained a lead of at least 18 in the second half to record their third wire-to-wire win of the season and eighth under Martin.
Tennessee took a 26-point lead, 62-36 on a McRae layup with 12:30 left in the game. Richardson's fourth 3-pointer of the game regained a 26-point lead. Jeronne Maymon's pair of free throws ballooned the lead to 28.
Barton's layup with 4:26 left put Tennessee ahead by 35, 82-47.
Tennessee's starters had scored 79 of the team's first 82 points.
Virginia had lost its three games this season by a combined 16 points.
Virginia leads the all-time series with the Vols, 8-5, including last season's 46-38 victory in Charlottesville. Tennessee scored just 16 points in the first half of last year's loss. On Monday, they had that many in the first six minutes of of the game.
Tennessee returns to action on Saturday as local foe Tusculum College comes to Thompson-Boling Arena. That game tips off at 2 p.m.
Gamecocks Rout Marshall, 92-65
COLUMBIA, S.C. – After scoring 78 points two days ago, South Carolina (6-6) followed Saturday’s performance with its best offensive showing of the season tonight, defeating Marshall (5-8) 92-65 at Colonial Life Arena.
The Gamecocks were led by Tyrone Johnson and Brenton Williams who each scored 18 points on the night. Along with Duane Notice (13) and Demetrius Henry (12), the four combined for 61 of the team’s 92 points. Shawn Smith led the Herd with 19 points, while Ryan Taylor chipped in 18.
Williams continued his hot shooting of late from beyond the arc by hitting his first two to give Carolina an early 6-4 lead. After a pair of free throws from Taylor tied-up the game, the Gamecocks went on a an 8-3 run as Henry scored four points for Carolina in the paint on consecutive possessions.
As the Herd cut the deficit to three, Henry was there again to extend the lead, hitting a pair of jumpers to push the Gamecocks lead 20-13 with eight minutes remaining.
With Carolina holding a 24-18 lead, Marshall went on a 11-4 run over a two-plus minute span to take a 29-28 lead with 3:55 remaining in the half, its first since taking 4-3 lead early in the game. The Herd went 6-6 from the line during the stretch.
The Gamecocks regained the lead though on a jumpers from Michael Carrera and Johnson. After trading field goals, and the lead, Carolina finished the half on 6-0 run to end the half and take a 36-31 lead into the break after holding Marshall without a field goal over the final 2:44.
Despite allowing the Herd to convert on only eight field goals in the opening 20 minutes, the visitors went 14-20 (70 percent) from the free throw line as the Gamecocks were whistled for 16 fouls.
South Carolina opened the second half on a 9-3 run to take a 45-34 advantage. Sindarius Thornwell scored the three of the first five points of the half after sitting much of the first half with two fouls.
The Herd was able to get the deficit back down to seven with less than 16 minutes to play after a Taylor scored on put back. The Gamecocks quickly countered though as Williams found Notice open in the left corner for a 3. The triple ignited a 14-1 Carolina run over the next three minutes. The freshman ended the night two points off his career-high, but tied his high in assists with six and set a new high in rebounds with six.
With 9:15 remaining, Williams drove to basket and scored a lay-up after being fouled. The senior went to the line and converted on the three-point play and passed John Roche’s school record for consecutive free throws made in the process with his 42nd in a row. Williams’ streak dates back to Feb. 28, 2013 versus when he hit the second of two free throws versus Missouri.
On Marshall’s following possession, Williams turned over Smith and took it the other way to give the Gamecocks a 71-48 lead after a quick 8-2 run with 8:39 remaining.
Holding an 18-point lead with under seven minutes left, Johnson scored six-straight points to extend to the Gamecocks lead to 80-57. The junior finished the night by totaling 18 points for the third time this season.
Carolina closed out the game out-scoring the Herd 12-8, to finished off the 92-65 win.
For only the second time this season, South Carolina hit over 55 percent from the field, going 34-66 (56.8 percent), while the defense held Marshall to 37.8 percent (17-45). The shooting helped Carolina negate a 12-point advantage for the Herd on the free throw line as the visitors hit 30-46 (65.2 percent) from the stripe compared to the Gamecocks who were 18-25 (72 percent). Carolina held a decided advantage on the boards at 45-27.
The Gamecocks will return to Colonial Life Arena on Friday night as they host South Carolina State in their final non-conference game of the regular season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and will air on SportsSouth/FOX Sports Carolinas.
Rebels Down Hilltoppers On The Road
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Junior Jarvis Summers scored 24 points and senior Marshall Henderson added 23 points as Ole Miss come from behind to down Western Kentucky 79-74 on the road Monday.
Henderson hit seven 3-pointers for the Rebels(9-3), which has won three of its last four games. Sebastian Saiz recorded 11 points and seven rebounds for the Rebels, who shot 56.3 percent from beyond the arc.
T.J. Price poured in a game-high 26 points for Western Kentucky (8-5), which could not overcome 18 turnovers. George Fant recorded his first double-double of the campaign, notching 13 points and 14 boards while Trency Jackson netted 11 points for the Hilltoppers.
Western Kentucky made its first four 3-pointers of the game to go up by seven before pushing the lead to 26-13 after Price's triple midway through the first half. Henderson led all scorers with 12 points in the opening 20 minutes as Ole Miss closed out the first half on a 24-7 run to take a 39-36 edge into the break.
Summers scored eight straight points to give the Rebels a 65-62 advantage before Price snapped a field-goal drought of over five minutes for the Hilltoppers to even it. Henderson hit two clutch 3-pointers down the stretch to put the Rebels ahead 72-67 as the Rebels handed Western Kentucky its first home loss of the season.
Saint Louis Escapes Memorial With 57-49 Victory
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jordair Jett scored 17 points to spark Saint Louis to its sixth straight victory, 57-49 over host Vanderbilt on Monday night.
The Billkens (12-2) scored 12 straight points to take the game's biggest lead, 53-44, on two Grandy Glaze free throws with 1:06 left.
After trailing much of the game, Rob Loe had back-to-back baskets, including a dunk after Jett's steal, to put Saint Louis back on top 41-40 with 6:49 left -- its first lead since midway through the first half. Saint Louis stretched it to 49-44 on Dwayne Evans' steal and subsequent dunk on the fast break with 2 minutes left.
Damian Jones scored 12 points to lead the Commodores (7-4), who saw a three-game win streak end with its first home court loss this season. It was Vanderbilt's lowest offensive output at Memorial Gym since scoring 43 in back-to-back losses in February 2002.
Auburn Dominates In Another Tune-Up Before SEC Play
AUBURN, Ala. - Somewhere in there, when the blocks were coming free and easy, Auburn's shortest starter swatted the ball away.
Point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen just had to get into the act.
"I've got to go back and watch that," said coach Tony Barbee. "When he gets a shot block, you know it's your night defensively."
It was Auburn's night defensively, and offensively, too, as the Tigers romped past Arkansas-Pine Bluff 91-59 Monday in Auburn Arena in the next-to-last tune-up before SEC play. The Tigers improved to 7-3 while traveling Pine Bluff, which has yet to play a home game, fell to 2-10.
It was a game to pad the stats, look at more playing combinations and gain confidence.
"The communication is unbelievable," Barbee said during his post-game radio interview. "That shows a trust they have in each other."
It was a clean line for most everybody. Shamsid-Deen had the block, but also scored nine points and, more importantly, had eight assists and no turnovers.
"It's big for your starting point guard, who is a freshman, not to have any," Barbee said.
Auburn's usual one-two punch led the scoring. KT Harrell had 19 points. Chris Denson had 17. But Dion Wade added 15 as Barbee looks for deep scoring down his roster. Ten Tigers scored. Reserves such as Matthew Atewe helped his cause "on the glass being aggressive," Barbee said.
Auburn led 53-25 at the half and took its biggest lead, a cushy 36, with 15:13 left in the game.
Auburn shot a blistering 65 percent from the field, including 53 percent from the beyond the 3-point line. Rebounds? Auburn dominated there, too, winning that stat 41-29. Blocks? Auburn had 12. Pine Bluff had two.
Auburn completes its pre-SEC schedule Saturday at home against Florida A&M. Barbee wouldn't mind a repeat of Monday's effort.
"Let's focus in on how hard we've got to play, how mean and nasty and tough and gritty we've got to play," Barbee said. "I think we saw some of that on the backboard."