Vols jump on Southern Indiana quickly in 78-47 victory

Tennessee guard Josh Richardson (1) chases down Southern Indiana guard Lawrence Thomas (12) during the first half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Lau

Tennessee guard Josh Richardson (1) chases down Southern Indiana guard Lawrence Thomas (12) during the first half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. (ADAM LAU/NEWS SENTINEL)

There was no uneasiness this time.

After a slow start to its first exhibition game, the Tennessee men’s basketball team began hot and never looked back in its second, beating Division II Southern Indiana 78-47 Thursday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. It was the Vols’ final tune-up before they open the regular season with a road game against Xavier in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Jordan McRae led UT with 15 points. Josh Richardson added 12, and Jarnell Stokes scored 11.

The Screaming Eagles never led, and the officiating crew turned out to be as big of a threat to the Vols. After finishing its first exhibition win against Florida Southern with 19 fouls, the Vols earned 13 in the first half Thursday.

UT jumped out to an early double-digit lead that let coach Cuonzo Martin experiment with his lineup. Six non-starters played double-digit minutes, including 6-foot-10 center Rawane “Pops” Ndiaye, who scored seven points and pulled down seven rebounds. But sophomore guard Quinton Chievous again spent the night on the bench after also sitting out the first exhibition game.

Senior point guard Antonio Barton did dress, missing his second consecutive exhibition game due to a lower left leg injury. Freshman point guard Darius Thompson again started in his place. Barton is expected to start at point guard this season. Barring a setback in practices this weekend, he will debut against Xavier.

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Comments » 2

wigmeister writes:

Real Bball is about to begin. Hope it starts on a good note!

johnlg00 writes:

As far as the new rules and the officiating went, last night was a game of two halves. The first half was a whistle-fest such as many of us feared. There were several, to me, obvious charges even under the new rules that were called as blocks. It just can't be legal for an offensive player to put a shoulder in the chest of a stationary defender and be bailed out by a block call. The second half was much more fluid from that standpoint, though the Vols' offensive execution left much to be desired. Much of that may have been due to the extensive playing time the freshmen and other newcomers got. Hope they have adjusted somewhat to the new rules by Tuesday, though that will be difficult until the referees get on the same wavelength in their calls as the players will have to do. I'm afraid I'm not too optimistic about that happening by Tuesday, so I just hope the Vols can push through any frustration they may feel.

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