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.
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.