#16 Vols turn back the Bulldogs, 89-81
Tennessee improves to 14-4 overall, 7-4 in SEC play
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Last time out, Tennessee downed Kentucky for the second consecutive time at Rupp Arena to the tune of an 82-71 score line. The Vols were led by a season-high 27 points from freshman and reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, Keon Johnson. Fellow freshman Jaden Springer added in 23 points of his own, meaning the UT freshman duo combined for 50 of the Vols 82 points on Saturday.
The win was also the Vols third in their last four tries at Rupp Arena, making head coach Rick Barnes the first coach to beat Kentucky three times in Lexington during the John Calipari era. A Wednesday night would be Tennessee’s third straight over Georgia in Knoxville.
Tough news prior to tip-off with word that Yves Pons is inactive against the Dawgs nursing a knee injury. The Vols came out hot from beyond the arc with Santiago Vescovi and Jordan Springing knocking down three pointers to give Tennessee a 6-2 lead. An ally-oop to John Fulkerson and a second Vescovi three would give Tennessee a 13-5 lead. The Vols have made each of their first four shots including those three 3-pointers and lead the Bulldogs 13-8 at the first media timeout.
Georgia already has 6 turnovers in the game and have gone over 5 minutes without a field goal. Vols lead 17-10 with 11:36 to go in the half. Tennessee shooting better than 50% so far in the game. Vescovi leads UT with 6 points.
Coming off a 27 point performance at Kentucky, Freshman Keon Johnson is working hard and off to a good start with 7 points and 2 rebounds. Fellow freshman Jaden Springer also has 7 points as the Vols lead UGA 31-21 at the 5:51 mark of the 1st half.
Vols have five players who have hit 3-pointers so far. Santiago Vescovi has three of them and 11 points. Freshman Jaden Springer leads UT with 12 points as the #16 Vols lead the Bulldogs 44-26 at the half.
Second half and the Vols pick up where they left off at the break. Triple-J, Josiah James with the triple and then it was Freshman Keon Johnson-, 27 points against Kentucky, rocking the house with a monster one hand slam! The Vols are now 9-17 from beyond the arc and lead the Bulldogs 51-33 with 15:52 to go in the game.
Three UT players in double figures including Triple-J, Josiah-Jordan James and Jaden Springer, who leads the Vols with 20 points! Back to back 20 point games for the freshman as Tennessee races out to a 63-42 lead with 11:30 to go in the game.
Vols still shooting better than 50%, but trail on the boards 27-22 as UGA has made a bit of a run down by 13, 67-54 with 7:45 to play.
Turnovers causing problems for Tennessee, now 15 in the game. Georgia has 13 points off them and now trail UT 76-65 with 3:39 to play. Vols are 16-19 from the FT line.
Despite 17 turnovers and 55 Georgia 2nd half points, the #16 Vols turn back the Bulldogs 89-81. Tennessee knocks down 25 FT’s and gets a career high 30 points from Freshman Jaden Springer in the win which improves UT to 14-4, 7-4 in SEC play. It’s back on the road Saturday as the Vols visit LSU at 2pm.
Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.