Vols find recipe for victory on the road, 58-46

Jarnell Stokes, Jordan McRae get double-doubles

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press
Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller  passes around Tennessee guard Josh Richardson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn.

Photo by Mark Humphrey

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller passes around Tennessee guard Josh Richardson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE — Accompanied by a Golden smile, a laughing Jordan McRae was the first head to pop out of the Tennessee locker room on Wednesday night.

“Oh jeez,” McRae quipped. “All y’all?”

McRae, along with Trae Golden, settled into interviews with Knoxville media at Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym. Having endured plenty of questions following road losses, the two members of a three-man attack happily answered.

The Vols were leaving Nashville with a 58-46 victory against their rivals.

“When you win, everything is much better,” Golden said.

And things are getting better for Tennessee.

Wednesday night saw UT’s best offensive half of the season. It also saw an untidy second half, but the Vols (13-10, 5-6 SEC) were focusing on the positives.

The final boxscore included a game-high 17 points from Stokes, 14 from McRae and 12 points from Golden.

Stokes, with 10 rebounds, and McRae, with 11, both notched double-doubles. Golden and McRae each played 39 minutes. Stokes was on the floor for a career-high 37.

Balance?

More like buoyancy.

Or at least the Vols were buoyant.

“I don’t know why we haven’t been doing that all season,” said Stokes, who added five blocked shots. “I think it came from us getting stops on the defensive end, just pushing the ball up the court. Guys were just clicking.”

Golden, Stokes and McRae combined for 35 first-half points. Scrambling to get defensive stops, the Commodores chased to no avail. Stokes dunked and rebounded. McRae hit a pair of 3s. Golden made it happen inside and out, adding a 3-pointer to an array of floaters.

When the barrage was over, Tennessee stood with a 40-28 halftime lead. It was the Vols’ first 40-point first half since a Dec. 18 win over Presbyterian.

“Trae started off scoring and screaming, getting everyone going, and Jarnell was talking,” McRae said. “We were all yelling. The refs had to calm us down a couple of times.”

Vanderbilt (9-14, 3-8) calmed the Vols down in the second half. Coach Kevin Stallings flipped the switch on a swarming, trapping, press defense. After committing just two first-half turnovers, five piled up quickly for UT during the first eight minutes of the second half.

An 8-0 Vandy run cut the lead to eight with 12:07 to go.

“We got a little careless, a little lazy, on some of those passes, as opposed to passing, faking and being aggressive,” Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said.

Following a few angry timeout huddles, the Vols dug their heels in on the ’Dores.

A 6-0 run fueled by a McRae baseline jumper, a Stokes dunk and a jumper by Josh Richardson stretched the lead back to 52-38 with 9 minutes, 44 seconds left.

Well content, Martin said the Vols “made enough plays to win the game.”

Richardson finished with six points and four rebounds. Quinton Chievous, delivering a first-half spark, added UT’s five lone bench points.

Sophomore point guard Kedren Johnson, battling a shoulder injury, led Vandy with 11 points. He was Stallings’ lone player to finish in double figures.

Replacing senior forward Kenny Hall in the lineup, Golden registered his first start in nine games. Hall did not play, a decision Martin said was based on Vanderbilt’s reliance on a four-guard offense.

Golden, who was playing his second game since missing two straight with a strained hamstring, added seven rebounds and three assists.

“It’s not that I’m back,” he said, referencing season-long struggles. “I’m just playing my game, having fun.”

The Vols, now 2-7 on the road in 2012-13, will look to notch their third straight win on Saturday at home against No. 25 Kentucky. The Wildcats lost star center Nerlens Noel to a torn ACL in a 69-42 loss at No. 7 Florida on Tuesday night. Noel, the nation’s leading shot blocker (4.5 per game), will miss the remainder of his freshman season.

“Now,” Golden said, “The biggest thing is just keeping this momentum going.”

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 107

SummittsCourt writes:

Beating vandy at home by 1 when they miss a point blank layup and a point blank put back in the closing seconds... awesome

Sweeping vandy on the road by double digits... priceless.

bosscat writes:

Going in the right direction at the right time--Go Vols!

VOLSnTITANS writes:

The Vols looked like a tourny team tonight. Stokes is now playing like the beast he is. I was really impressed with his passing out of the double team. Golden seems to be getting his game back. Really nice team effort. Always a pleasure sweeping the Dores. Now lets find a way to sneak into the tourny. GO VOLS.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say this team goes as Golden goes. Witch Doctor say when he shows up and is healthy this is a different team as it opens up for Stokes and McRae and others. Witch Doctor say good win
Bones never lie.

GerryOP writes:

Good job basketVols, good job. Pull everything together and get ready for the 'Cats this weekend. Go Vols!!!

VolGrad writes:

Nice win for the sweep. Now we need to win out. :D

Go Vols!

iowavol writes:

Only saw/heard the second half. Seemed like turnovers were down and that the players played with passion. Two keys to winning. Now take care of the ball against KY and play with the same passion - who knows.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say this team goes as Golden goes. Witch Doctor say when he shows up and is healthy this is a different team as it opens up for Stokes and McRae and others. Witch Doctor say good win
Bones never lie.

I agree. Also Golden seemed to draw extra energy from Stokes AND McRae tonight. Great team effort. NO turnovers much. Good game on the road.

GreeneVol writes:

Nice to hear. Didn't get the game on TV here in Greeneville on Comcast Digital Plus.

Interesting to see UT roundball, with the problems it's had this season, is still ranked 8th in the country in attendance (per utsports.com). And it's going to rise!

Go Vols!

budd#207344 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say this team goes as Golden goes. Witch Doctor say when he shows up and is healthy this is a different team as it opens up for Stokes and McRae and others. Witch Doctor say good win
Bones never lie.

You're right on Doc. This was the team that should have been once they realized JM was not going to play this year. Afraid Kenny H may lose minutes but the big three of JS, TG, & JM with help from MRS. Reese, Moore, McVie, Edwards, and co. can win a lot of games. They need to take this enthusiasm into Saturday for national TV and the kitty cats. UK is vulnerable and we need to get 'em now

iowavol writes:

Another thought - saw Cuonzo on the post game interview. It's nice to have a coach who is intelligent, articulate and down to earth. He doesn't whine, says it like it is. I hope this team turns it around for him.

Olddogsrule writes:

double double doubles ...:)

Vol43 writes:

I was there. It was wonderful!

redskinvol1 writes:

Great sweep of Vandy.Coach Zo can quiet a lot of people,myself included,by beating down UK this weekend.They are down and this is a prime time to pounce.

UKblue02 writes:

in response to budd#207344:

You're right on Doc. This was the team that should have been once they realized JM was not going to play this year. Afraid Kenny H may lose minutes but the big three of JS, TG, & JM with help from MRS. Reese, Moore, McVie, Edwards, and co. can win a lot of games. They need to take this enthusiasm into Saturday for national TV and the kitty cats. UK is vulnerable and we need to get 'em now

I expected a tough game at your place even with Noel, now i'm not sure what to expect from our team without him, maybe they play better or maybe worse. UT seems to br playing better since they quit calling fouls on Stokes for breathing..anyway i hope for a competitive game from our guys.

bobe4544 writes:

in response to VOLSnTITANS:

The Vols looked like a tourny team tonight. Stokes is now playing like the beast he is. I was really impressed with his passing out of the double team. Golden seems to be getting his game back. Really nice team effort. Always a pleasure sweeping the Dores. Now lets find a way to sneak into the tourny. GO VOLS.

NIT here we come.

budd#207344 writes:

in response to UKblue02:

I expected a tough game at your place even with Noel, now i'm not sure what to expect from our team without him, maybe they play better or maybe worse. UT seems to br playing better since they quit calling fouls on Stokes for breathing..anyway i hope for a competitive game from our guys.

Truly sorry about Noel. I am hopeful our guys will keep this good play going and we can win one against UK again. You know it keeps the series interesting. Good luck

GrandCanyonVol writes:

I said in previous posts that I like Coach Martin. He seems to have character, he has a calmness about him, and he stands by his players. I like that. I hope the team wins many more games. They will if they will stick together and play hard. I have played sports, and it feels so good to win on the road and talk about it on the way home. A win over Kentucky would give the team some credibility. I like Golden still playing hard after losing his starting job. Tells you something about the young man. He's got it on the inside.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

Back to back road wins. A nice turn of events for the Vols. Hopefully we can beat the Cats this weekend and keep a good thing going.

Vol43 writes:

in response to UKblue02:

I expected a tough game at your place even with Noel, now i'm not sure what to expect from our team without him, maybe they play better or maybe worse. UT seems to br playing better since they quit calling fouls on Stokes for breathing..anyway i hope for a competitive game from our guys.

You're a good guy blue.

eduardo writes:

A chance now to lay it on the dreaded blue!

eduardo writes:

I hate kensucky!

dvols writes:

buck kentucky and there broke first round draft pick.......

sorry he hurt but dang

really he was getting an education??

sorry calimari,,, ur one and done formula is making ky bball the same slime as nick saban

lstbodeanvol writes:

great team win Go Vols !!!!!

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

Anyone else concerned about the about-face we had in the second half? I don't think an 18 point half will cut it against the blue saturday. Good to have a win though.

vol98champ writes:

All I got was game tracker, and I didn't log on until the second half. 18 points by UT and 18 by Vandy. Cant't say it was terribly interesting. Sure wish they could put 40 minutes together, but it is wonderful to shut up the Dores.

sly_stone99#434111 writes:

Golden, Stokes and McRae = that three headed monster this team needs to have too win.

jt45 writes:

Really liking the way Golden has made a comeback, he is the key to the offense. Stokes is starting to take charge inside and playing better by the game. Hope they work on beating the press before sat.

Anyone heard from handicapper ? LOL !

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to Vol43:

You're a good guy blue.

The poster may have good qualities. It is regrettable and unjust a young man has sustained an injury. May he recover completely and excel in the NBA.

If one is a True VOL fan, there are 2 things that should always occur:

1. Beat the Tide
2. Beat the Cheating 'Cats

Football is over and now the Blue arrive in our house. Never, ever should we have sympathy for that team as they have cheated forever and now, in their storied tradition, have another sleazeball as head coach. GBO!!!

jt45 writes:

Stokes blocked 5 shots tonight and I think at least 3 of those may need to be surgically removed from Stallings boys.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

Did not see the game, but am delighted that Martin apprently has them on the mend as a team---and has found a way to get folks' attitudes adjusted.

2-road wins in a row for THIS team of VOLS!!!

Earlier this year that would have seemed more unlikely than the Pope's resigning. :)

Glad to see a coach on the UT payroll who can get his team facing the right direction and going forward without stumbling. Way to go Coach Martin!

Proud of you and the team. Keep up the good work...same to the players and staff...

Nice turnaround. Look forward to more good news. Tks to all...

VictorKruger writes:

It's always satisfying to beat Vandy in their awful gym! I liked the small starting line-up even though Moore is still a turnover machine. Stokes is a man among boys - can't wait to see him and Maymon together again next year. Was that awesome 3-point bank shot the first of Stokes's career? 6 double-doubles in a row!

UkJarhead writes:

in response to Vols4Ever:

The poster may have good qualities. It is regrettable and unjust a young man has sustained an injury. May he recover completely and excel in the NBA.

If one is a True VOL fan, there are 2 things that should always occur:

1. Beat the Tide
2. Beat the Cheating 'Cats

Football is over and now the Blue arrive in our house. Never, ever should we have sympathy for that team as they have cheated forever and now, in their storied tradition, have another sleazeball as head coach. GBO!!!

You have got to be out of your mind. Calling us a cheat when our coach has NEVER even been accused of breaking a single rule, let alone found guilty. You have had confirmed cheating and put on probation in Mens basketball, football, baseball, even your swim coach was a cheater.... He who cast stones... Bonehead

UkJarhead writes:

This rivalry always better when both teams are playing well. Glad the Vols are on a roll. We have boneheaded fans on both sides that say stupid things like Vols4Ever. Let's just enjoy the rivalry without all the hate. GBO

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

It was a great effort to go to this place and come away with a win. It didn't look like the same Tennessee we have witnessed a lot this year. Stokes, once making his mind up to make a play did just that. His free throws really look greatly improved.

Except for the little flurry of turnovers where the Vols lobbed cross court passes which were picked off........9 for the game on the road isn't bad.

IMO, the Vandy score keeper must have experienced wishful thinking. Twice, the Vols scored a basket and the points weren't shown for a couple of minutes.

Finally, if Stokes keeps this up.......his stock rises and IMO, no guarantee he will be with us next season, although with him, Hubbs, Maymon, McRae, Richardson, Golden etc, etc, the team looks at this point anyway, to be a formidable bunch.

Vols4Ever writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

You have got to be out of your mind. Calling us a cheat when our coach has NEVER even been accused of breaking a single rule, let alone found guilty. You have had confirmed cheating and put on probation in Mens basketball, football, baseball, even your swim coach was a cheater.... He who cast stones... Bonehead

Your coach, oh ye who are so deluded, has lead 2 programs to the final 4 only to have the seasons vacated. Guess you also don't know about 1953 and cash on the turnstile.

You invented cheating in basketball and Cal continues the tradition.

UkJarhead writes:

in response to Vols4Ever:

Your coach, oh ye who are so deluded, has lead 2 programs to the final 4 only to have the seasons vacated. Guess you also don't know about 1953 and cash on the turnstile.

You invented cheating in basketball and Cal continues the tradition.

1953? Your 4 programs have cheated and lied in the past 5 years...... Cal has never been proven to cheat. He had two players that did improper things that had no link to him. The reason he had two Final Fours vacated was because he was good enough to get to 2 Final Fours. Many other coaches have had players that were later ruled ineligible, they just didn't get to that level. Do facts mean anything to you? The coach, nor the schools were accused of doing anything wrong.... Unlike your 4 programs in the past FIVE years. Dilusional

UkJarhead writes:

Mr 4Ever,

Cal- Never been accused or found guilty of breaking rules. One player was found to have cheated on SAT six months before he arrived on campus, while he was being recruited by other schools. Once it was found out he cheated, games he played in were vacated. Just happen to be a Final Four year. Next player took gifts from boosters. Cal found out and turned player in to the University which informed NCAA of violation. Again, that team just happened to be good enough to get to Final Four. So unfortunately two of his best teams that achieved these things had two men that cheated. Had it not been two Final Four teams, this wouldn't be as big a story. Again, please tell me how Cal cheated in these two instances.

Pearl- Had a recruit and his family at his house knowing it was a violation. He called recruits father and told him to lie to NCAA if they asked. He then lied to NCAA not once, but twice. He apologized while crying for breaking rules and lying. He was fired and received show cause and got his school put on probation. All of this is fact. Yet you call us cheats?Haven't even got to football and baseball team. You really need to do research before you speak, or type.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

You have got to be out of your mind. Calling us a cheat when our coach has NEVER even been accused of breaking a single rule, let alone found guilty. You have had confirmed cheating and put on probation in Mens basketball, football, baseball, even your swim coach was a cheater.... He who cast stones... Bonehead

Semper STFU!

Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88 writes:

Looks like Stokes is starting to live up to the hype. How many double doubles is that in a row? Hmm... hate to break it to y'all, but on the 26th, Patrick Young will cut all that mess out. See y'all in TBA, looking forward to it!

LIBDESTROYER writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

This rivalry always better when both teams are playing well. Glad the Vols are on a roll. We have boneheaded fans on both sides that say stupid things like Vols4Ever. Let's just enjoy the rivalry without all the hate. GBO

Exactly. I was born in Louisville, graduated UT, and hope for a great game, (Vol win). Back in the day, I loved sitting in the fieldhouse and watching Dale Brown whine to the refs about our mean ole players picking on his little old Shaquille, and yelling "Sit down, Joe B." when KY came to town. Also, the great Ray Mears, Earnie and Bernie, and the unicycle. Today, love Cuonzo, wish Stokes would return though I doubt it, and glad to see Trae has deep down character to come back from tough times. Also, looks like Butch has stopped the bleeding in FB, so the future is bright and tinged orange. GBO, and whip those kittys!

claiborneh writes:

in response to GrandCanyonVol:

I said in previous posts that I like Coach Martin. He seems to have character, he has a calmness about him, and he stands by his players. I like that. I hope the team wins many more games. They will if they will stick together and play hard. I have played sports, and it feels so good to win on the road and talk about it on the way home. A win over Kentucky would give the team some credibility. I like Golden still playing hard after losing his starting job. Tells you something about the young man. He's got it on the inside.

No doubt Martin has character and is a fine man. But he is Eyor on valium. Too calm. Just my opinion but I like energy and enthusiasm. It's easy to make positive comments after a nice win. I'm objective and analytical about this team and coach. All season it has been boring uninspiring unenergetic brand of basketball. This win was against one of the worst Vanderbilt teams in some time. A gimme. So I'm not trying to rain negativity, I'm just putting everything in perspective. Two wins in a row and a few humorously use the word tourney. NIT maybe, but the only way this team can get into the tourney is by winning the SEC tournament, i.e beat everyone plus Florida. Anything can happen in college hoops, but I doubt any would take that bet.

One_in_West_Knox writes:

A great performance for the Vols in the first half. As for the second half, though they won the game and by double digits, they could have made one bite his nails to the quick, especially if this game was for the SEC or national championship.

ronburgundy (Inactive) writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say this team goes as Golden goes. Witch Doctor say when he shows up and is healthy this is a different team as it opens up for Stokes and McRae and others. Witch Doctor say good win
Bones never lie.

Well said. The offense looked alot more fluid and the defense looked as solid as they were first of the season. Should be interesting Saturday with Kentucky's big man out for the season. Nice win.

jdcdjc writes:

in response to GreeneVol:

Nice to hear. Didn't get the game on TV here in Greeneville on Comcast Digital Plus.

Interesting to see UT roundball, with the problems it's had this season, is still ranked 8th in the country in attendance (per utsports.com). And it's going to rise!

Go Vols!

I couldn't get the game either here in Ga on TV, but watched on ESPN3 on my PC, with ESPN3 there are very few games I have to miss.

mlynn1 writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

This rivalry always better when both teams are playing well. Glad the Vols are on a roll. We have boneheaded fans on both sides that say stupid things like Vols4Ever. Let's just enjoy the rivalry without all the hate. GBO

Yes, but Vols4Ever is on his teams own site, who invited you?

richvol writes:

The key to beating Ky is containing the white kid,can't recall his name,but he's a great shooter.

punkin writes:

in response to Vol43:

I was there. It was wonderful!

The Vandy white-out on TV seemed to be a flop, like their BB.

punkin writes:

in response to 9willbesofine:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And your football team got hammered by a Big East/ACC team.

underthehill writes:

in response to richvol:

The key to beating Ky is containing the white kid,can't recall his name,but he's a great shooter.

You are 100% on that one..Wiltjer..I think..he is an amazing 3 point shooter..his height..6' 10..makes it easy for him to shoot over you once he gets the ball in position..his lack of speed is the only thing you got to help you keep him from getting the ball in position..he can carry the team against slower players..Fla was too fast for him to get his shots off..gotta hold this guy down..and don't get too excited about Nerlen not being with em..they still are very talented..gonna take an outstanding game to beat them..

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