3 Observations: No. 19 Vols 73, Ole Miss 65

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    Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

    The Vols dominated Ole Miss in Knoxville when the two teams met earlier this season. And on Saturday, it was more of the same as the two teams met for a rematch.

    No. 19 Tennessee (21-7, 11-5) handled Ole Miss (12-17, 5-11) in Oxford on Saturday, winning by a score of 73-65. The Vols led by as much as 20 points in the first half and held a 15-point advantage at halftime.

    But then the Vols played some awful basketball, and Ole Miss opened up the second half on an 11-0 run to pull within four.

    Then Rick Barnes chewed his team out, and Tennessee stopped turning the ball over. And they built their lead back up and eventually won by eight after leading by as much as 21 at one point in the second half. The final score isn’t an indication of how close the game was, because the Vols led by double digits for most of the game.

    Tennessee has now won two straight games and will stay in the state of Mississippi for their next game when they take on Mississippi State in Starkville on Tuesday.

    Here are our three biggest takeaways from the Vols’ 73-65 victory over Ole Miss.

    Career Night for The Admiral 

    Admira Schofield came into today’s game on a bit of a roll. He contributed 16 points and eight rebounds in the Vols’ 62-57 victory over Florida on Wednesday, and he had scored in double figures in three straight games coming into Saturday’s contest.

    But Schofield went off against the Rebels on Saturday, and he now has a new career-high in points.

    Schofield ended the game with 25 points, surpassing his career-high of 22 that he had done three times previously. He also had seven rebounds and three assists. Schofield almost always takes a lot of shots, but he’s had issues making a high percentage of them. But that wasn’t the case today, as he made 9 of his 14 attempts and sunk five of his seven free throws.

    Derrick Walker and Jordan Bone tied career-highs in other categories too. Bone tied his career-high with eight assists, and Walker tied his career mark in rebounds with seven.

    Not Bothered by No Grant

    Grant Williams was almost a non-factor in Saturday’s game. He picked up some fouls and sat on the bench for an extended period of time, and he finished the game with just six points and five rebounds in only 20 minutes. He only made three of his 10 field goal attempts.

    But luckily for Tennessee, other players stepped up in the game.

    Schofield had his career-high, but he had help from his teammates too. Jordan Bowden added 15 points and was 3-of-6 from three, and Lamonte Turner had 13 points and three assists. Derrick Walker played 22 minutes, the second-most of his career, and scored five points along with his seven rebounds.

    Tennessee is at their best when Grant Williams is on his game. But they proved on Saturday that they can rely on others when Williams is cold too.

    Rebels Rough from Three

    The biggest difference in Saturday’s game was both teams’ three-point shooting. The Vols finished a strong 9-of-20 from behind the arc, and they ended up with 20 assists on 25 made field goals as a whole.

    Ole Miss, meanwhile, was dreadful from three.

    The Rebels made just one of their 23 three-pointers in the game, giving them a 4.3 shooting percentage from three. They also only had seven assists on their 23 made baskets.

    If Ole Miss had been able to hit three or four more of their threes, this might’ve been a different ball game. But they didn’t, and the Vols were able to survive their sloppy play to start the second half and cruise to a victory.