Heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with Arkansas, some fans and media were concerned that the Vols may be primed for a letdown after the big road win at Florida. Add to that the suspension of Kenny Hall for “conduct detrimental to the team”, combined with a power outage on campus that disrupted the team’s pregame shoot-around, and you have a potential recipe for disaster. But whatever distracting circumstances existed, the Vols didn’t let it affect their play as Tennessee blasted the Razorbacks by a final score of 77-58.
After trailing 6-4 early, the Vols (14-1, 6-5 SEC) used a 19-0 run to sprint out to a 24-point first half lead. The Razorbacks (17-9, 5-6 SEC) pulled to within 10 in the second half, but never closer.
Jordan McRae led the team with 14 points and Trae Golden added 13 points and seven assists.
Cam Tatum, who has struggled with his shot as of late, scored 11 points. But more importantly, he continues to find other ways to help the team: he played solid defense, pulled down nine rebounds, dished out three assists, had two steals and only committed one turnover. He was named the Vol Network Player of the Game.
“It felt good just to contribute in any way possible, Tatum said. “In the Florida game, I still felt like I contributed. I still felt like I was a part out there and did some good things. This game was just my night to have a couple buckets.”
Through his stuggles, Tatum continues to have a great work ethic in practice, according to Coach Martin.
“The thing about Cam is that he continues to bring his hard hat to practice and you have to give him an opportunity,” Martin said. “I continue to preach that if you work hard, good things will follow. He’s struggled with his shot, but he’s stayed consistent, stayed in the gym and shots have started to fall for him. He’s always been a good defender and played hard, he got nine rebounds tonight.”
With five regular season games remaining, Tennessee next travels to Tuscaloosa this Saturday to face the Alabama Crimson Tide in a game set to tip off at 1:30 p.m.
- -Tennessee has now won four straight SEC games for the first time since February of 2008.
- -The Vols hit 11 3-pointers, the most in league play since January of 2009.
- -Amazingly, Tennessee now sits tied for fourth place in the SEC.
- -Tonight marked the fifth time this season that the Vols held an SEC opponent under 60 points.
- -Six players scored in double-figures.
- -Tennessee remains undefeated (10-0) when Skylar McBee scores in double-figures.
- -The 19-0 first-half run is the largest of the season and the 68% first-half field goal percentage is the highest of the season.
- -Kenny Hall has been indefinitely suspended and did not play on Wednesday. It’s been reported that he will not make the trip to Tuscaloosa this weekend.