KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Keon Johnson scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, leading No. 10 Tennessee to a 81-61 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.
Johnson was one of three double-digit scorers for the Volunteers (10-1, 3-1 SEC). John Fulkerson had 15 points, and Victor Bailey scored 11.
Vanderbilt (4-6, 0-4) was led by Dylan Disu’s 19 points. Scotty Pippen, Jr. scored 18.
Down 10 points at halftime, Vanderbilt clawed back into the game early in the second half. Pippen had seven points and D.J. Harvey scored six as the Commodores closed within four points at 41-37.
Then, Baily took over. He connected on three straight 3-pointers and Tennessee’s lead was back to double figures at 50-39.
Tennessee went five mintues in the first half without a basket, yet still led by 10 points, 34-24, at the break.
Fulkerson had 10 points at intermission and Josiah-Jordan James seven.
Disu kept the Commodores in the game with 10 points in the first half.
Vanderbilt: Sooner or later, things will turn around for the Commodores. They came close against Kentucky (losing 77-74) and Mississippi State (84-81). Getting that first league win is critical.
Tennessee: The Vols’ victory over Vanderbilt was the 719th of Tennessee coach Rick Barnes’ career (34 seasons at George Mason, Providence, Clemson, Texas and Tennessee). He is tied for 20th all-time in Division I with Phog Allen and Don Haskins.
Vanderbilt: Struggling to get out of the SEC cellar, the Commodores will host Texas A&M on Wednesday.
Tennessee: The Vols have a quick turnaround, and travel to Florida on Tuesday.
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