The return of Scotty Hopson and an 8-8 night at the free throw line from Tyler Smith were tempered by hot three point shooting from Charleston...for about 33 minutes. Tennessee repeatedly built leads of 8-12 points only to see Charleston work them back down within 3-5. But sparked by a Skylar McBee three, the Vols went on a 15-2 run that finally put the Cougars to bed, as UT picked up their fifth win of the season 86-69.
A decent post-Thanksgiving crowd saw Scotty Hopson finish with 21 points, 7 of 10 from the field and 3 for 3 from beyond the arc, a return to the form he enjoyed in the first three games of the season and his fourth 20+ point outburst of the year. Tyler Smith got it done at the line, and he and Brian Williams helped spell Wayne Chism, who again was on the receiving end of two quick fouls and later picked up a third, getting only five minutes in the first half and only thirteen for the game. Williams and Chism both had 11 points, and BWill also had 7 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Charleston went 11 of 25 (44%) from beyond the arc and got great play from their starters, but only eight points off the bench. By comparison, the Vols got 43 points off the bench in a continually impressive display of depth, and dominated the Cougars inside: +14 in rebounds, + 28 in points in the paint.
The Vols are 5-1 on the year and return to action Wednesday night, hosting an ETSU team that beat Charleston earlier this year, and is currently leading at Arkansas. The Vols will then get a nine day break during final exams before playing MTSU in Nashville on December 11.