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WATCH: Barnes Talks Win Over Tennessee Tech

Photo by Ric Butler/RTI

Tennessee picked up its second straight win, defeating a pesky Tennessee Tech, 80-69, at Thompson-Boling Arena Friday afternoon.

The Golden Eagles led at halftime and early in the second half before the Vols began to pull away halfway through the second half.

Barnes expressed his frustration with his team postgame, saying the Vols’ struggles were a product of a poor Thanksgiving practice— particularly from Tennessee’s freshmen.

“From our perspective, not really happy at all,” Barnes said. “This game normally gives you what you put into it and the preparation with some of our younger guys yesterday wasn’t what it needed to be and it showed up here in the first half. With that said, in the long term it’s probably a better thing for us because we’re going to be in a lot of games where it’s going to be close and we’re going to have to really fight for it.”

The seventh year head coach wasn’t upset with everything in the win. Barnes praised the growth of Santiago Vescovi who scored in double figures for the fourth time this season. More than the scoring, Vescovi impresses with his ability to grow in other areas. The junior guard recorded seven assists and seven rebounds Friday.

Tennessee was without wings Josiah Jordan James and Justin Powell in the win. Powell is expected to return shortly as he’s dealing with the flue. Barnes called James “day to day” after the junior forward tore  a ligament in his finger in the Villanova game.

Barnes also discussed the growth of Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, Kennedy Chandler’s defense and the growth of the Tennessee Tech program.

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