The Tennessee Volunteers hosted Ole Miss on Tuesday night looking to pick up another SEC win. The Vols used a complete effort from nearly everyone on the roster as they ran away from the Rebels, winning 73-48.
Tennessee jumped out to an early lead thanks to great offensive play from John Fulkerson and Jordan Bowden. The Vols took a 42-23 lead into halftime and never looked back. Eight different players for the Vols scored in the second half. Tennessee ended up shooting 49 percent on the night and was able to convert from the free-throw line throughout the game, making 20 out of 24 attempts.
Fulkerson had notched a career-high 18 points, while also bringing down 10 rebounds to record a double-double. Fulkerson was able to expose a Rebels team that lacked size in the post. Both Bowden and Josiah-Jordan James scored 11 points on the night. After struggling heavily at the start of SEC play, Bowden has put things together these past two games after scoring 21 against Vanderbilt on Saturday.
James has looked more comfortable running point guard over the last few games, as he’s seemed to drive to the basket more, creating more opportunities for himself and his teammates. He finished the night with six assists and zero turnovers, which is promising for a position unit that has been turning the ball over a lot in recent weeks. While Santiago Vescovi only had three points, he only committed two turnovers on the night, which was something he had struggled with since he first dressed out for the Vols.
Yves Pons continued to ball out on the defensive end for Tennessee. He finished with just six points on the night but extended his block streak to 18 games, which included the highlight reel blocks below.
"He hit his man bun on the rim!" 😂 pic.twitter.com/BdWw2MlERH
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) January 22, 2020
Jalen Johnson, Olivier Nkamhoua, and Uros Plavsic gave Tennessee good minutes off the bench. Johnson finished the night with eight points, including going 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Nkamhoua played an excellent game down low, scoring 10 points with going a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Plavsic finished with four points on the night.
The Vols will head to a hostile environment on Saturday, as they head to Allen Fieldhouse to take on the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks. ESPN College GameDay will be in Lawrence for one of the bigger match-ups in the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Prior to Tuesday night, the Vols had a very tough task ahead of them, looking to knock off the third-ranked team in the country.
Now, it will be interesting to see who dresses out for the Jayhawks and who is suspended. At the end of their rivalry game against Kansas State, the benches emptied, as an all-out brawl happened behind the basket. Punches were thrown and Kansas’ Silvio De Sousa nearly swing a stool during the brawl. If you haven’t watched the brawl yet, here it is below:
Benches emptied at the end of the Kansas State-Kansas game. pic.twitter.com/zWv46h3RJC
— ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2020
Kansas coach Bill Self, as well as their AD Jeff Long, stated that they will review the incident and “determine the appropriate consequences.” While suspensions should surely happen, you never know with Kansas. A few players from Kansas will likely be suspended in some capacity for the Vols’ match-up against them on Saturday.