No. 16 Tennessee (22-7, 12-5 SEC) dominated a red-hot Mississippi State team on Tuesday night in Humphrey Coliseum, 76-54. The Vols were virtually unstoppable in the second half of the game, knocking down 11 consecutive field goals at one point.
Before dropping Tuesday’s bout to the Vols, Mississippi State had won its previous three games and seven out of the last 10.
Considered to be one of the hottest teams in the league, the Bulldogs made it tough for the Vols at the beginning of the game, jumping out to a 25-18 lead in the first half.
Admiral Schofield, who served as the co-SEC player of the week coming off of a career-high 24 points, once again proved to be one of the key players behind Tennessee’s success this season.
Schofield matched last weeks point total with 24 and also added seven rebounds and a block with 33 minutes of game time.
Schofield finished Saturday’s contest against Ole Miss with 35 minutes, proving to be one of the most durable players on Rick Barnes’ team.
Previous to its loss to Tennessee on Tuesday evening, Mississippi State was 18-1 at home this season and its only loss was to then-No. 22 Auburn.
The close game continued into the second half as the Bulldogs were down only four points closing in on the first media timeout.
Barnes’ team began to light up the scoreboard, shooting 15-of-22 in the second half of the contest.
“We got some real good execution playing inside out,” Barnes said. “When we move the ball and play together, we’re capable of (doing what we did tonight).”
Lamar Peters, the player who shared co-SEC player of the week last week with Admiral Schofield, was bested by Schofield in the game, getting outscored 24-7. Peters finished the game 3-of-10 with a turnover.
Lamonté Turner played a big role in the game for the Vols, especially from outside the arc. Turner nailed two three pointers and logged 29 minutes off the bench, finishing a perfect 4-for-4.
Turner knows his head coach is looking forward to the SEC tournament but isn’t taking road wins for granted at this point in the season.
“Coach Barnes didn’t complain about anything after the game,” Turner said. “I’m kind of worried about him, he must be sick or something.”
The Orange-and-White will face Georgia on Saturday for their Senior Day to honor the lone senior on the team, James Daniel III.
With the win, Tennessee ties Auburn for first place in the SEC at 12-5.
James Daniel III finished with three points on 1-of-1 shooting against Mississippi State and his only make came when he connected on a deep bomb which banked in from deep outside the three-point line with the shot clock running down.
Edited by Ben McKee
Feature image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics