Tennessee beat Alabama 69-68 tonight behind stellar scoring performances from John Fulkerson and Jordan Bowden. Fulkerson lead the team with a career-high 22 points, while Bowden came in second with 20 points. Frenchman Yves Pons also tabbed his second career double-double.
The win was a crucial one as it snapped the Vols’ three-game losing streak and brought Tennessee back above .500 in conference. This game was also the 15-point deficit that the Vols were able to overcome since facing the Crimson Tide in 2017.
Tennessee’s success in blocks continued as both Fulkerson and Pons block three shots each. This figure was a season-tying mark for Fulkerson and brings Pons’ block streak to 22 games.
Bowden’s 20 points were the third time that the senior has scored at least 20 points this season. Bowden also grabbed a career-high six steals on the defensive end.
Pons finished the game with 12 point and 14 rebounds, a career high. Of his 14 rebounds, Pons earned eight on the offensive. These were crucial part of continuing possessions during the comeback.
The last time the Vols had multiple players to score 20 or more points was during last year’s NCAA Tournament when they faced Purdue in the Sweet Sixteen.
Coming into this game Alabama was the leading scoring team in the conference, but this game was the second conference game this season that the Crimson Tide were held to under 70 points.
Alabama controlled the game in the beginning, leading by six after roughly nine minutes into the game. The Crimson Tide able to extend their lead out to as many as 15 at one point, however Tennessee was able to go on a run a to reduce the Alabama lead to six at halftime.
During the first half of the second period, the two teams traded buckets, allowing the Crimson Tide to keep a slight lead.
The Vols then went on a three-minute 11-3 run to bring the margin within a bucket. The teams again traded buckets, before Tennessee was able to pull away in the final two minutes.
UT/TV get(S) back in action this Saturday, when Kentucky comes to Thompson-Boling Arena. The rivalry matchup, which is scheduled for 1 p.m., will be a nationally televised game, available on CBS.