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Men's College Basketball: Vols Dominate Against Iowa State In Big 12/SEC Challenge, Win 68-45

The Vols came away with a big road win on Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Tennessee
Lamonte Turner had another huge night for the Vols.
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Usually, Tennessee finds their offensive success down low, but on Saturday, they found it from up high.

The Vols went on the road to Ames, Iowa this weekend to take on the Iowa State Cyclones as part of the NCAA's Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The Vols had won five of their last six, with their lone loss coming out in the midwest against conference rival Missouri.

The game started off terribly for Tennessee on offense. They couldn't drop the ball in a well, making just 13% of their shots in the first nine minutes of the first half. They were 2/16 from the floor overall and had a five-minute scoring drought at one point where they went 0/6 and had three turnovers.

The two leading scorers in Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield had a combined four points in the first half. With stats like these, one would think that the Vols struggled mightily in this game.

But that changed quickly with about nine minutes left to play after the Vols hit four straight 3PT shots to go up 21-17. They would go on to absolutely dominate the last eight minutes of the first half to finish with a 31-19 lead.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at Iowa State
The Vols used tough defense and outside shooting to frustrate the Cyclones.
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee took advantage of 15 second-chance points and a 16-2 run over the final 6:56 of the first half in order to amass their lead. Iowa State had five turnovers and shot 1/7 from the field - including making just one shot in the last eight minutes - during that span.

The Vols' defense was spectacular in the first half, holding the Cyclones scoreless for more than fifteen minutes.

That trend continued into the second half as the Cyclones didn't get their first bucket until around the 17:22 mark. The Vols answered back quickly, scoring on two of their next three possessions to go up, 41-21.

The Cyclones finally got some offense going after going on a 7-0 run to close the gap to 16, but guard Lamonte Turner hit his fifth 3PT shot of the game to silence ISU.

Iowa State's frustration with Tennessee's intense defense and outside shooting became pretty apparent throughout the game. The body language on display by the Cyclones gave the team a tired, worn-out appearance that the Vols capitalized on.

This was a huge game for the Vols considering the fact that they were able to get a huge lead against a decent opponent on the road, but more importantly - they held onto this lead and did not allow the Cyclones to come back in the game.

Turner finished with 20 points on 7/13 shooting that included 6/9 from downtown while playing the most minutes on the team. Kyle Alexander and Williams both tied for the team lead in rebounds with 10 each.

The win helps keep Tennessee tied with Alabama for third place in the SEC standings. The Vols host LSU at Thompson-Boling Arena on Wednesday.

Game Stats:

  • The Vols outscored the Cyclones 53-28 over the last 28 minutes of the game.
  • Iowa State shot just 7/17 from the line. Tennessee was 8/10.
  • Tennessee went 11/22 from 3PT after starting 1/8
  • The Vols went 24/62 from the floor after starting 2/16
  • The Vols had 36 bench points and doubled the amount of offensive rebounds compared to Iowa State, 16-8.