KNOXVILLE, TN- A trio of double-digit scorers led Tennessee to a 70-58 win over Kansas State at Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge Presented by Sonic.
The Vols (12-9, 4-4 SEC) finished their three-game homestand without a blemish following the wire-to-wire win over the Wildcats (15-6, 4-4 Big 12). UT crashed the boards all game long, out-rebounding Kansas State, 43-29. Kyle Alexander led the way with nine boards to go along with eight points.
Grant Williams posted another strong performance, totaling 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, six rebounds and two assists on the day. Jordan Bowden and Robert Hubbs III were the other Volunteers to eclipse double-digit, scoring 13 and 10, respectively.
Leading the way for the Wildcats was Barry Brown. Brown led K-State in points with 17. He was 3-of-7 from beyond the arc in 34 minutes for the Cats. The Wildcats also boasted two other players scoring in double digits, with Wesley Iwundu scoring 14 points and Kamau Stokes added 11.
KSU came out firing in the second half, hitting five of its first six from beyond the arc, after not hitting a single 3-pointer before intermission. Despite eight points by Williams to begin the period, the Wildcats cut Tennessee’s lead to 10 with 11:39 remaining the game.
The Vols’ lead was insurmountable, though, as Kansas State never pulled closer than nine points in the second half.
With five minutes left in the game, Lamonte Turner drove to the paint and dished it off to Lew Evans for the slam to make it a 64-50 advantage to ice the win. The dunk energized the crowd of 14,398 fans and forced the Wildcats to use their final timeout.
The Vols jumped out to an early lead to open the game, going on a 10-3 run. Alexander was active on the glass, grabbing four boards in the opening four minutes of the game, including three on the offensive end. A pass from Williams at the top of the key to Bowden in the paint for a layup capped the run and forced Kansas State to call a timeout.
After a five-minute scoring drought during the middle of the half by the Wildcats, UT used a 13-2 run to take a 39-22 lead into intermission. The Volunteer defense forced seven turnovers in the opening stanza and gave up a season-low 22 points.
Bowden, who dropped 10 first-half points behind a pair of 3-pointers, fueled Tennessee’s offense to the 17-point lead.
Courtesy: University of Tennessee Athletics