Vols vanquish Vandy

If the NCAA had tougher transfer rules, Vanderbilt might've beaten Tennessee today at Thompson-Boling Arena. But it doesn't and the Dores didn't.

Iowa transfer Tyler Smith and Arizona transfer J.P. Prince dominated the action as the Vols trounced the Commodores 69-50.

Smith was awesome, hitting 10 of 13 field goal tries, 3 of 4 shots from 3 and 7 of 8 free throws en route to a career-high 30 points. He also contributed 5 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists.

Prince added 8 points, a career-high 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 blocks and 3 steals.

Tennessee's defense did the rest. The Vols limited Vandy to a chilly 38.8 percent shooting (19 of 49) from the floor and a frigid 12.5 percent (2 of 16) from beyond the arc. Tennessee also forced 23 turnovers and blocked 8 shots.

Tennessee, now 16-8 overall and 7-3 in SEC play, did a particularly good job defending the Commodores' top two players. Junior point guard Jermaine Beal made just 1 of 10 shots and sophomore center A.J. Ogilvy sank 3 of 7. Still, Ogilvy shared the team lead with 11 points. Brad Tinsley also scored 11 for Vandy, now 15-9 overall and 4-6 in SEC play.

Speaking on his post-game show, UT coach Bruce Pearl called the performance a "nice win, start to finish."

On a day set aside to celebrate 100 years of Vol basketball and honor the program's All-Century Team, the energy level was exceptionally high. The Vols fed off of it, using an early 14-0 explosion to turn a 6-5 deficit into a 19-6 lead. Six different UT players scored during the spurt.

Tennessee led 26-18 at halftime and 33-24 early in the second half. That's when Tyler Smith scored 7 points in a 15-4 run that widened the gap to 20 (48-28) with 12:10 left. The youthful Commodores never recovered.

"When you go on the road you need to play well early," Pearl noted. "They didn't play well early but we did.

"The start of the second half, the same thing was true. We came out bang, bang, and got a few baskets. I don't think our defense was very good at the start of the second half but our offense certainly was."

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