Rick Barnes Talks Vols Biggest Win Of Young Season

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    Tennessee is headed into Christmas happy as can be as the Vols survived a thriller to beat No. 6 Arizona 77-73 at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday night.

    The win propels Tennessee to a 9-2 record heading into SEC play and marks the Wildcats’ first loss of the season.

    The Vols jumped out to a crazy 16-2 lead behind a dominant first four minutes of the game. However, Arizona kept coming back, tying the game in the second half and keeping it tight as can be in the final minutes.

    Super senior John Fulkerson was incredible for the Vols, scoring a game high 24 points on eight-of-13 shooting while grabbing 10 rebounds to secure the double-double.

    “Fulky came out 30 minutes before everyone today for shootaround,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said. “When I left last night after our meeting he was on the floor shooting. He knows this is his last year and there’s no doubt he wants to give it to them. … He was terrific, he really was.”

    Fulkerson and the rest of Tennessee’s veterans were fantastic in the win, combining for 68% of the Vols points.

    Barnes discussed the play of those veterans, the fast start and even took a special question from Josiah Jordan James following Tennessee’s best win of the season.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.