Tennessee led from start-to-finish on Thursday night in Thompson-Boling Arena, as the Vols defeated Carson-Newman 86-44.
“Overall, I thought the effort was pretty good,” Barnes said following the Vols win. “I love this team. I really do.”
Coming off the bench, Tennessee forward Grant Williams led the way with a double-double. The sophomore finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds on 9-of-17 from the field.
“Coming off the bench, I tried doing as much as I could to help the team stay up because they did a good job in the first four minutes stopping them,” Williams said. “I didn’t want to make that change in any way.”
Williams didn’t receive the start because Barnes didn’t like the way he had been playing during practice. “He needs to know I’m not playing around. I want consistency. I want to know what I’m getting,” Barnes said.
It was a 3-point shooting contest for the Vols from the tip, as they attempted 34 shots from behind the arc. Tennessee would finish shooting 35% from deep, connecting on 12 of their 34 attempts. The Vols 34 attempts from beyond the arc were the most in the Barnes era.
Sophomore guard Jordan Bowden got things going early, when he immediately drilled a three. Jordan Bone followed with consecutive three’s while Lamonté Turner added two 3-pointers of his own to give Tennessee an early 15-3 lead on 5-of-9 shooting from distance.
The Vols would go on to close out the first half on a 22-7 run to give them a 45-25 lead. Admiral Schofield led the way with 10 points at the break, while Turner added nine points on 3-of-7 shooting from three.
Tennessee didn’t miss a beat as the second half began. The Vols would go on a 17-2 run over the first six minutes of the half to break the game open, and claim a 62-27 lead. Williams would lead the Vols in the second half, scoring 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Kyle Alexander added eight points.
Schofield would add seven points in the second half to finish with 17 points and five rebounds. Bowden finished the night with 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting from three. Bone committed just one turnover and tallied a game-high eight assists.
The Vols defense propelled Tennessee to the win, as they forced 24 Carson-Newman turnovers. Tennessee would go on to outscore the Eagles 26-2 in points-off-turnovers.
Tennessee has one more exhibition match before the season-opener against Presbyterian next Friday night.
Earlier this week, the NCAA approved a waiver to allow Tennessee and Clemson to square off on Sunday afternoon. All proceeds from the event will go towards hurricane relief efforts in Florida and Texas. Tipoff is set for 12:30 p.m. ET in Barnes’ return to his old stomping grounds.
Feature image courtesy of UT Sports