Tennessee had won 10 games in a row at this point since their loss to the Kansas Jayhawks earlier in the season. Fortunately for the Vols, the Razorbacks wouldn’t represent much of a challenge. Rick Barnes’ squad led the game from start to finish and never let up.
Kyle Alexander scored the first points of the game on the first offensive possession, but it’d be tough to find baskets for both teams afterward.
Arkansas was held scoreless for the first 2:58 of the game and both teams combined for 3/5 shooting during the first four minutes of play. UT held a 4-3 lead, but it was clear that the Razorbacks were giving the Vols trouble early.
But Tennessee was able to find some breathing room later after Jordan Bowden hit a wide open three from the corner. Bowden’s three and a quick basket off a sick spin move from Grant Williams helped key a 10-0 run that saw the Vols lead increase to 15-5.
Four straight turnovers pushed Tennessee’s run to 14-0 before Osabuohien ended it from the free throw line. The Vols led 20-6 with 12:27 to play in the first half.
The Vols continued to clamp down and play defense, but Admiral Schofield was a little too physical at one point. He was called for a flagrant one on offense after his elbows crossed over a Razorback defenders’ shoulders.
Arkansas didn’t do themselves any favors, though. Jalen Harris missed both free throws and the team couldn’t do anything with the ball on the offensive possession. Lamonte Turner was called for a very questionable call just moments later, but the Hogs continued to screw up and turned the ball over immediately after regaining possession.
Mason Jones finally ended Arkansas’ misery as he drained a three to end a 17-1 Volunteer run. The Vols led 23-9 and it was easy to see that the Razorbacks were shaken.
Arkansas’ offense was able to make some plays and began to find some life, but it wasn’t enough to keep the deficit within double-digits - much less a couple possessions. A 13/15 performance from the free throw line had the Vols up 38-21 with 5:38 left in the first half. Arkansas continued to struggle with Tennessee’s athleticism and physicality - which is a recipe for disaster against this Vols squad.
The offense began to click again, pushing the lead to a game-high 21 points. The 46-25 lead was the third SEC game in which the Vols led by 20+ points.
Tennessee continued to put on the hurt, at one point leading 53-28. The Razrobacks were able to turn a 6-2 run into a 55-34 halftime deficit, but they obviously still had a very long way to go.
The Vols forced eleven turnovers and held the Hogs to 37.5% shooting overall. Arkansas was 6/11 from the line while the Vols were 20/23. The Tennessee bench also outscored Arkansas’, 31-5.
Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford came out and made a bucket on the team’s first possession of the second half, but Schofield drained a three then followed it up with a dunk right after to push the lead to 60-36.
The Razorback offense was able to rattle off four straight, but Schofield fired right back with four points of his own. He had scored the team’s first nine points of the second half so far and the Vols led 64-40 with just a bit over 16:00 to play.
Schofield would go on to score the first 14 points in 5:30 of the second half before Bowden ended the streak with a three-pointer of his own. Arkansas was able to fire right back with consecutive buckets and the Vols led, 72-50 with 12:10 remaining.
Another three from Turner increased the deficit to 30 and brought the Vols within nine points of the century mark. The 91-61 score was reminiscent of the Georgia game. Fortunately for Arkansas, there was just 7:41 left in the game.
Mike Anderson’s crew was able to generate a 8-0 run, but it came at a cost. Daniel Gafford fouled out after recording his fifth of the game on Grant Williams. Down 93-69 with 4:30 left in the game, Gafford’s exit was the final nail in the coffin for the Razorbacks.
And who else would it be other than Schofield himself to nail the three to point Tennessee up 100-75? It would be the second time this year the Vols hit triple digits in the scoring column.
Tennessee would go on to win by a final score of 106-87. They are now 4-0 in conference play and have won all four games by double-digits.
Tennessee will host the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, January 19th. Tip-off is scheduled for 2PM EST.