ATHENS, Ga. — Tennessee was unable to come away with its first road victory of the season, falling to a red-hot shooting Georgia team, 81-72, on Wednesday night at Stageman Coliseum.
UT forced a season-high 20 turnovers, scoring 20 points off of them, but was unable to overcome 12 made 3-pointers by the Bulldogs.
UGA committed 16 turnovers in the first half alone as the Vols took a 35-28 lead into the break. With points hard to come by in the opening 20 minutes, Detrick Mostella provided the Vols with a boost off the bench. The sophomore guard led all scorers in the first 20 minutes with 11 points on 4-8 shooting, including three makes from behind the arc.
Georgia owned the second half, however, going on a 25-6 run early in the half thanks to some hot 3-point shooting. The Bulldogs made five threes during the run to take a 10-point lead with just over 10 minutes to play.
Despite 11 second-half points from Kevin Punter, the Vols were unable to close the gap and were held to just 38 percent shooting for the game. Punter finished with a team-high 17 points, extending his double-digit scoring streak to 14 games.
The Bulldogs’ size caused the Vols problems all night as well. UGA dominated the glass, outrebounding Tennessee, 43-28, for the game.
Georgia’s J.J. Frazier led all scorers on the night with 28 points and was one of four Bulldogs in double-figures.
Ball Thieves: Tennessee’s defense was active throughout the game, tying a season-high with 10 steals and forcing 20 Georgia turnovers, also a season best. The Vols were able to turn that defense into offense, scoring 20 points off turnovers. Derek Reese led UT with three steals on the night.
Georgia Natives Moore and Baulkman Combine for 22 Points: Senior forward Armani Moore, who likely played his final collegiate game in the state of Georgia, scored 10 points and led Tennessee with eight rebounds while also dishing out five assists. Devon Baulkman scored in double-figures for the eighth time this season, chipping in 12 points on the night.
Road Woes Continue for Tennessee: With the loss, the Vols fell to 0-4 in road games and 0-7 overall in games away from Thompson-Boling Arena. UT will have another chance to end its road losing streak on Saturday when they visit Mississippi State.
Up Next: The Vols remain on the road for their next contest as they visit Mississippi State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Big Orange split a pair of games against the Bulldogs last season and lead the all-time series, 79-42. The game will be televised on the SEC Network and as always fans can listen to Bob Kesling (PxP) and Steve Hamer (analyst) on the Vol Radio Network.