Vols open SEC play with win over LSU, 68-50

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON --  LSU Tigers guards Tim Quarterman (55) and Anthony Hickey (1) force the ball away from Tennessee Volunteers guard Jordan McRae (52) during the second half on Tuesday in the Maravich Center.

Photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON, © 2014 The Advocate

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- LSU Tigers guards Tim Quarterman (55) and Anthony Hickey (1) force the ball away from Tennessee Volunteers guard Jordan McRae (52) during the second half on Tuesday in the Maravich Center.

BATON ROUGE, LA. A Tennessee men’s basketball team that won one of its first five SEC games last season matched that total in its first taste of league play on Tuesday.

UT (10-4) beat LSU (9-4) 68-50 at the Maravich Center, a victory that also served as the Vols’ first true road win of the season.

Led by sharp shooting from senior guards Antonio Barton and Jordan McRae, along with a strong inside performance from Jarnell Stokes, UT led 38-24 at halftime. That 14-point advantage was the largest first-half lead UT has had on the road since it led South Carolina 40-23 on March 3, 2011. LSU’s 24 points were the fewest it has scored in a first half this season.

Stokes, who turned 20 on Tuesday, was dominant. He finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds. McRae, who was named SEC player of the week for the second time this season on Monday, was incredibly efficient. He scored 19 on 6-of-7 shooting and dished out five assists. And Barton, who continues to put distance between himself and a cold streak that was in jeopardy of costing him his starting position, finished with 14 points.

The game featured four of the SEC’s top-10 rebounders: No. 2 Stokes (9.2), No. 4 Jeronne Maymon (8.2), No. 7 Jordan Mickey (7.8) and No. 10 Johnny O’Bryant (7.5). UT outrebounded LSU 40-28 and limited LSU’s star O’Bryant to 11 points and seven rebounds. Mickey had 14 points and four rebounds

Key UT freshmen reserves Robert Hubbs and A.J. Davis did not play. Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin previously said Hubbs, who sat out of the Vols’ last game to rest a nagging shoulder injury, was cleared to play. Yet he and Davis never removed their shooting shirts.

Instead, the Vols leaned on sophomore forward Derek Reese and senior guard D’Montre Edwards off the bench, who both made strong pushes to end the non-conference season.

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Comments » 15

atchleyaaron#1420833 writes:

L S WHO. GREAT WIN !!!

Chris_L75 writes:

Good win overall, but for a game that was never in danger, there were far too many sloppy possessions in the second half. Learning to maintain focus with a lead seems to be an issue for both Vols and Lady Vols.

Actually somewhat looking forward to SEC home opener. Will the building be more than half full, though, even if weather is more manageable? And how many conf. wins are needed now, with the league looking ever weaker?

underthehill writes:

Stokes had a great rebounding game..and I loved it..my favorite part of the game of basketball.. he reminds me of Wes Unseld..

no1djkb#278630 writes:

You guys ever notice that more people post when they lose then win they win? After the NC State loss and UTEP, it was over 40+ people who posted fire Coach Martin. How many true fans we really have here?
Forgive me asking but I have to. Do you all think a lot of people don't want him to coach because of his color? Do you think it is because he is not a proven coach? I just had to ask because this team is really playing well now besides not being able to handle the press:). I have never seen a Tennessee team that has this many guys putting the ball in the basket. It is fun to watch. I don't see why more people are not appreciating how well the team is playing

wigmeister writes:

This game they started the game with energy. They were able to hold it for the most part through the rest of the game. They do have a tendency to get sloppy when they have a lead. Good win. Hope it leads to better things!

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Great win on the road. LSU was favored but McRae and Barton put the meat hooks in them early. Offense moved the ball well and the bigs got physical.
Negatives were the missed lay ups and the inability to handle the press in the second half.
Great defense caused LSU to miss a lot of shots. Need a big crowd Saturday to stomp A&M.
This game was huge because it was prime time On ESPN. A lot of people saw how good Tennessee can be smacking a good and big LSU team in the Maravich Dome.

johnlg00 writes:

Agree completely with all the positive comments. I only hoped the Vols would show up full force for this game but I never imagined they would handle the Tigers so easily. They won nearly every phase of the game.

volnsc writes:

A solid game on the road. Should be a confidence booster. They need to work on getting around the press, but all played very well, IMO. GBO

atnvol#283282 writes:

Just terrific.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

I was questioning CCM myself for a minute. It is good to see there are some fans that can appreciate this team and the coaching staff when they show improvement. Never went to Tennessee (TSU grad) but been a Vol fan since I was little. I am proud of what they are trying to do. With what has been going on with our Men's basketball and football team, it is a good feeling to root for guys who really care about playing for UT and their teammates.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

I was questioning CCM myself for a minute. It is good to see there are some fans that can appreciate this team and the coaching staff when they show improvement. Never went to Tennessee (TSU grad) but been a Vol fan since I was little. I am proud of what they are trying to do. With what has been going on with our Men's basketball and football team, it is a good feeling to root for guys who really care about playing for UT and their teammates.

If you love the game like a coach does, it has to bother you when your team doesn't perform the way you think they should. Fans don't have to balance the well-nigh invisible differences of opinion or points of view that flow through a team in the locker room and on the practice floor.

Basketball players are self-involved and opinionated. That doesn't make them obnoxious ego monsters, just guys who feel better if they have room to move and stretch, who want to feel that their input matters. If they can find a way to merge their self-interests into a consistent winning formula, the group interest will prevail. As long as players feel committed to the same path, they can do almost anything on the court. Winning starts in the mind.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

If you love the game like a coach does, it has to bother you when your team doesn't perform the way you think they should. Fans don't have to balance the well-nigh invisible differences of opinion or points of view that flow through a team in the locker room and on the practice floor.

Basketball players are self-involved and opinionated. That doesn't make them obnoxious ego monsters, just guys who feel better if they have room to move and stretch, who want to feel that their input matters. If they can find a way to merge their self-interests into a consistent winning formula, the group interest will prevail. As long as players feel committed to the same path, they can do almost anything on the court. Winning starts in the mind.

ALWAYS ALWAYS GREAT POINTS MAN:)! I always go to the question asked to CCM about what the players said in their meeting and he told the reporter it was none of his business. He wants them to be men and take responsibility. To me that is being a leader of men. X and Os are important but if you do not respect your players what do you really have? To me a college coach main objective should be the building of character. If you have good character guys you have a better team and having good character guys with athletic ability is a great thing. I hope they take this winning streak in stride and continue to improve.

Plasticman85 writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

You guys ever notice that more people post when they lose then win they win? After the NC State loss and UTEP, it was over 40+ people who posted fire Coach Martin. How many true fans we really have here?
Forgive me asking but I have to. Do you all think a lot of people don't want him to coach because of his color? Do you think it is because he is not a proven coach? I just had to ask because this team is really playing well now besides not being able to handle the press:). I have never seen a Tennessee team that has this many guys putting the ball in the basket. It is fun to watch. I don't see why more people are not appreciating how well the team is playing

I have been a UT BB fan since Ernie and Bernie. I couldn't care less if our coach is black, white, yellow or green. I just want to see our team prepared to play up to their ability every night. While all teams have some " bad" games, the slow start every season under CCM puts us in a hole with little room for error to get in the big dance. I like CCM and respect what he has overcome to get here and hope he succeeds. I want to see our team coached and perform to their ability the ready of this season. If that happens, most Vols BB fans will be very happy come March.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

in response to Plasticman85:

I have been a UT BB fan since Ernie and Bernie. I couldn't care less if our coach is black, white, yellow or green. I just want to see our team prepared to play up to their ability every night. While all teams have some " bad" games, the slow start every season under CCM puts us in a hole with little room for error to get in the big dance. I like CCM and respect what he has overcome to get here and hope he succeeds. I want to see our team coached and perform to their ability the ready of this season. If that happens, most Vols BB fans will be very happy come March.

Ok I see where you are coming from and respect it, but you are being a little harsh when you talk about slow starts. He spent his first year learning the team, he lost Maymon his second year which hurt the team greatly, and this year he had another turn over because we lost our point guard. I understand people want wins but like I said before (a matter of fact it was discussed on the sports animal today) why do we come on here and trash him like crazy when they lose but don't give him credit when they win. They are on a roll but you only got 9 or 10 people posting but when they lose you get 30 people posting how he should go and we need Bruce Pearl. To me that is very unfair

johnlg00 writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

Ok I see where you are coming from and respect it, but you are being a little harsh when you talk about slow starts. He spent his first year learning the team, he lost Maymon his second year which hurt the team greatly, and this year he had another turn over because we lost our point guard. I understand people want wins but like I said before (a matter of fact it was discussed on the sports animal today) why do we come on here and trash him like crazy when they lose but don't give him credit when they win. They are on a roll but you only got 9 or 10 people posting but when they lose you get 30 people posting how he should go and we need Bruce Pearl. To me that is very unfair

IMHO, the Vols are way ahead of where they were this time last year. They had a couple of tough losses in December, then started out 0-5 in the SEC before winning 10 out of the last 11. They only had a couple of road wins all last season. This year, they come into conference play on a four-game streak of tough, disciplined, effective play. They have reason to feel confident now. They know how they have to play to win; the question is whether they have the maturity and mental toughness to keep doing it.

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