Lamonte Turner scored 24 points – tying a career-high – to lift Tennessee (6-1) over Georgia Tech 77-70 on Sunday night.
Tennessee went to the free-throw line 19 time in the last three minutes of regulation, and Turner was responsible for making seven of them. “Lamonte’s experience was huge, I thought he had really great command of himself and what we needed to get done,” said Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes.
Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield also combined for 21 points and 11 rebounds in the Vols first true road win of the season. Guard Jordan Bowden was the only other double-digit scorer for the Vols on Sunday with 10 points and three rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets were down just six points at half and kept it interesting with a 7-2 run in the last three minutes, which cut it to a one-point game. Georgia Tech center Ben Lammers led the team with 17 points and nine rebounds, while three other Yellow Jackets players registered double-figures.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” said Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner. “The hardest thing to coach is when you can’t score.”
The Yellow Jackets were without sophomore guard Josh Okogie, who has missed every game this season. Okogie averaged over 16 points per game and five rebounds per game in his freshman season in Atlanta.
A 10-point run extended Tennessee’s lead to 69-58 with just under a minute left to play, as the Vols snuck past Georgia Tech. The free throw percentages from both teams told the tale of the game. Tennessee made over 85-percent of their free throws, while the Yellow Jackets made just 67-percent of their attempts.
The Vols seven-point victory over Georgia tech boosted them to 6-1, which is the best start for the Tennessee basketball program since 2010. The Vols win over the Yellow Jackets also marks their third win over ACC teams this season, after beating Clemson, NC State and Georgia Tech to start off the 2017 season.
“It’s early still. We’ve played some quality teams. We’ve got a long way to go,” Barnes said.”Our guys have worked hard. They deserve to have some things happen.”
The Vols will now have a three-game home stand, which includes games against Lipscomb on Dec. 9, North Carolina on Dec. 17 and Furman on Dec. 20.
Edited by Ben McKee
Featured image courtesy of UT Sports