Vols rip Rebels, 83-66

The Tennessee Basketball Vols finally found someone they could hammer.

With 6-foot-10 Brandon Crump exploiting his height inside (25 points, 11 rebounds) and Scooter McFadgon hitting from outside (21 points, 5 of 8 from 3-point range), the Vols manhandled Ole Miss 83-66 Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.

''I was just glad to see Brandon Crump step up and have a big game; we need for him to do that,'' head coach Buzz Peterson said on his post-game show. ''We were trying to go at Brandon, so he could hit some jump-hooks inside.''

C.J. Watson chipped in 13 points and seven assists as the Big Orange moved to 13-9 overall and 5-6 in SEC play.

''I thought C.J. had a very nice game,'' Peterson said. ''He had seven assists and only one turnover. When he has six assists or more, we're 10-0 on the season.''

Justin Reed scored 19 and Aaron Harper 16 to pace Ole Miss, which slipped to 12-10 overall and 4-7 in SEC play. The Rebels now stand 0-6 in conference road games.

Tennessee led by nine (31-22) with 4:00 left in the first half and went to the break leading 37-32.

It was still a tight game three minutes into the second half, then Ole Miss switched from man-to-man to a 1-3-1 zone defense. Alabama killed UT with a 2-3 zone last weekend but the Vols responded well this time. McFadgon nailed three 3-pointers to fuel a 16-5 run that widened the gap from 43-37 to 59-42 with 12 minutes remaining. Tennessee built its biggest lead at 18 points (67-49) on a Crump basket with around 7:30 to go, then coasted home from there.

''When they went zone, Scooter was able to knock down some 3s and open things up,'' Peterson said.

The Vols shot 55.8 percent from the floor and played solid defense, limiting Ole Miss to 44 percent. After sinking just eight of 16 free throws in the first half, UT nailed nine of 10 in the second half.

Tennessee, 0-5 in SEC road games, will try to break the spell Saturday at Georgia. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. in Athens.

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