MONSUMMANO TERME, Italy – After marching to a 52-point win in the opening game of Tennessee's Italian tour earlier this week, Cuonzo Martin asked for one thing afterward."I hope we get tested," he said Wednesday night in Rome.
The Vols got exactly that Friday.
Playing BC Atletas from Lithuania, Tennessee captured an 82-68 victory after leading by only three points at halftime. The same group of Lithuanians battling UT knocked off the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens on Wednesday.
After making 16 threes to top UGA, Atletas was held to seven by the Vols and relied on a parade of free throws to stay in the game. The Vols' stingy defense rarely surrendered an open jumper.
"It was a good test against a good team," UT coach Cuonzo Martin said. "They won the second division in Lithuania last year and they're a team that executes their offense. They have great chemistry and continuity. I think we did a good job responding."
Jarnell Stokes led Tennessee with 21 points, while Trae Golden chipped in 14 and Quinton Chievous added 11.
UT's Kenny Hall did not play. Martin said, "He just needs to play harder," when asked for a reason.
The Vols outscored Atletas 25-18 in the third quarter and carried a 62-52 lead into fourth. In the second half, Atletas guard Sarunas Vingelis made eight field goals. The rest of the team combined for one converted field goal.
Tennessee's next game on its trip abroad comes Sunday in San Marino.
Check back to GoVolExtra later for a full story on tonight's Tennessee win.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee basketball.