Tuesday, the Tennessee Volunteers welcomed the Ole Miss Rebels to Thompson-Boling Arena in a battle of conference foes. Tennessee pulled off a dominant win over Ole Miss 73-46.
Here are three takeaways.
The Vols shot the basketball incredibly well. From the field, they shot an impressive 49.0% and one player, Olivier Nkamhoua was perfect from the field, going 3-for-3. From outside the arc, Tennessee was not as proficient, but still managed to convert 29% of its 3-point attempts. Also, a key was that when sent to the free throw line, the Vols took advantage. Tennessee knocked down 83.3% of its attempts from the charity stripe, with Nkamhoua, Jalen Johnson, and Yves Pons all perfect on their free throws.
After the game, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes spoke about his team’s recent offensive success.
“I like to think,” Barnes said. “That they’re starting to understand what goes into winning. We certainly know what goes into losing.”
Fulkerson’s big night
The big three of John Fulkerson, Jordan Bowden and Josiah-Jordan James led the Vols tonight. Fulkerson was the star of the night, leading the team in scoring with and efficient 18 points. Fulkerson started the game 6 of 6, deep into the 2nd half, and finished 7 of 8 or 87.5%. Fulkerson shot 4 of 5 from the free throw line as well and added two assists, but he didn’t just contribute on the offensive end. He finished the game with 10 rebounds, nine on the defensive end, and grabbed three steals.
Postgame, Fulkerson played off the majority of the success as luck and gave the majority of the credit to his teammates.
“I just think it’s my shots are falling,” Fulkerson said. “I credit my teammates for getting me the ball on offense. I was sort of thinking about my shots; I really didn’t have to create a lot of them, my teammates created them for me. So, I think that’s credit to them for just running our offense. Not only for me getting shots, but for my teammates.”
An Imperfect Ten
Tonight’s loss marks the tenth loss combined for the Rebels Men’s and Women’s teams in as many conference games. In fact, neither team has registered a win inside the conference at all this season. These two actually met on the women’s side already, when the Lady Vols demolished Ole Miss 84-28 in Oxford. Both teams will get to face an easier team next followed by two tough high-level teams. The Women’s team will face Auburn, also winless in the conference, followed by Mississippi State and South Carolina, while the men’s team will face one-conference-win Georgia, before facing Auburn and LSU.
“They beat us in every phase,” Davis said. “We just have an inability to score, and Tennessee has a lot to do with that. They’re physical, move the ball. We shot the ball 14 times more and got beat like that.”
The Vols are next in action this Saturday, when they travel to face Kansas as part of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Their next home game is Jan 28, when Texas A&M comes into Thompson-Boling Arena to resume SEC play.