Justin Powell paces Tennessee basketball in blowout vs. Presbyterian
Justin Powell crashed into the Tennessee basketball bench Tuesday night to rescue a loose ball.
The Vols guard caught it and hurled it back at Olivier Nkamhoua. He ran into the corner in front of the Presbyterian Bank and got his reward, seconds later he whizzed a 3-pointer.
Powell had his best game yet with the Vols, helping Tennessee start relentlessly on both offense and defense in an 86-44 loss to Blue Hose at the Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Auburn transfer had 15 points in the 5-for-5 3-point shootout for the No. 15 Vols (5-1). Kennedy Chandler had 15 points, seven assists and seven steals. His seven steals set the UT single game record.
Victor Bailey Jr. and Justin Powell are shooting it
Powell didn’t start against Presbyterian after failing to play Tennessee Tech on Friday. Victor Bailey Jr. made his second straight start and had his best game of the season.
Bailey was 4-for-8 on 3-pointers. He was 3 of 17 who entered on Tuesday. He finished with a season high of 14 points.
Powell came off the bench to score three threes in the first half. He made two more in the second half.
Tennessee starts fast
Coach Rick Barnes wasn’t happy with Tennessee’s start against Tennessee Tech. He pointed to a lackluster practice the day before. Tennessee had no such problems against Presbyterian (5-3) on Tuesday.
The Vols shot 9-on-14 on 3-pointers. Powell’s 3-pointer was the early spark of a 15-0 run that put UT comfortably in the lead. The Vols ended the first half with a 17-0 run.
Defensively, the Vols were equally active. UT held Presbyterian at 21 points, the fewest points any team has scored against the Vols in the first half of this season. The Blue Hose was a 9v24 shootout in the first half.
Tennessee enforced 25 sales, which UT converted to 33 points.
Josiah-Jordan James missed a third game in a row
Josiah-Jordan James didn’t play for Tennessee. He has missed three games in a row after suffering a left hand injury against Villanova in the Hall of Fame tip-off tournament on November 20.
The Junior Guard has an average of 4.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. A schedule for his return was not given.
Tennessee will play its first street game of the season in Colorado on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1).
Mike Wilson reports on the University of Tennessee Athletics. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ByMikeWilson. If you like Mike’s coverage, consider a digital subscription that gives you access to everything.