Tennessee capitalizes on 32-0 run to whip High Point 84-53
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By STEVE MEGARGEE
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee has played well enough in spurts to dominate its first two opponents.
Of course, it helps that those spurts have been rather lengthy and decisive.
Lamonte' Turner and Jordan Bone each scored 16 points Tuesday as Tennessee went on an early 32-0 run and rolled to an 84-53 triumph over High Point. That followed a season-opening 88-53 victory over Presbyterian in which Tennessee scored 28 straight points for a stretch of 9 minutes, 45 seconds.
"Honestly, just being out there, you don't even know you're going on a run like that," Turner said. "You're just playing, trying to focus on your job, focus on just playing defense and helping your teammates, and it just kind of happens."
Four nights after reaching the 100-point mark in its season opener, High Point (1-1) was held scoreless for a stretch of 11 minutes, 43 seconds and didn't get a basket for a span of 12:15.
"It's what we were doing offensively," High Point coach Scott Cherry said. "Give them credit. They're very good at what they do, but we were turning the ball over, driving it in, forcing things. We had 19 possessions in a row (where) if I go back and look at those 19 possessions, I'm not sure we had enough good ones, and when we did have good ones, we missed free throws and missed wide-open shots."
High Point was coming off a season-opening 100-66 rout of William & Mary but scored just seven points in the first 16 minutes of Tuesday's game.
"I thought the first half, we really did play well defensively," Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said.
The score was tied 7-7 when High Point went cold. By the time Fox ended the drought with 3:54 left in the first half, Tennessee led 39-7.
High Point went 0 of 14 from the field and 0 of 3 from the free-throw line during its scoreless stretch.
High Point: The first sign this might not be High Point's night came when Brandonn Kamga picked up two fouls in the first two minutes. Kamga had 18 points against William & Mary. High Point led 3-2 when Kamga's foul trouble caused him to leave the game. When he returned 7 1/2 minutes later, High Point trailed 20-7. Kamga had just three points in 23 minutes.
"That's why we got down the way we got down," Cherry said. "I'm going to be anxious to go watch the two foul calls because we guard the same way in the three games we've played this year (including an exhibition). It's very interesting that when you play games here with guys that are veteran officials, the way the game is called as opposed to when we play in the Big South. I'm not saying that's why we lost, but it's just a completely different game."
Tennessee: The Vols' early 3-point shooting provides cause for optimism. The Vols were 12 of 27 from beyond the arc Tuesday and have gone 19 of 42 so far this season. Tennessee shot 32.6 percent from 3-point range last season to rank 11th out of 14 Southeastern Conference teams.
Tennessee guard James Daniel III was the NCAA Division I scoring leader in 2015-16 while playing for Howard, but the graduate transfer is playing a different game with his new team. Daniel scored just four points Tuesday, but he had a career-high 10 assists and no turnovers.
"To get to the next level, this is what you have to do, be able to show that you can run a team, get guys involved, pressure the ball, defend, stop guys," Daniel said. "This is what I need."
Tennessee led 52-13 at halftime before High Point outscored the Vols 40-32 in the second half. ... Turner's 16-point performance followed a scoreless outing against Presbyterian.
High Point: Hosts The Citadel on Saturday.
Tennessee: Faces No. 19 Purdue on Nov. 22 in the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas
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Updated November 14, 2017