January 12, 2008

Vols Grab 80-56 Road Win in Columbia

Columbia, S.C. -- The last time Tennessee (14-1, 2-0) visited the Colonial Center, the Vols turned in arguably the worst performance of the Bruce Pearl era, falling 81-64 to South Carolina (8-8, 0-2), the worst team in the league a year ago. If the Vols were looking for payback on Saturday night in Columbia, consider the bill settled.

Tennessee wasted little time in taking the fight to their hosts tonight on the way to a convincing 80-56 victory that like a bad movie, lacked any drama in the closing act.

The tone was set by the Vols at the outset of both halves, Tennessee opened the game with an 11-0 run which kept them in control of the first 20 minutes and led to a 43-35 halftime lead. The second-half start was even more explosive, with Tennessee ended any hope of a South Carolina comeback with a 20-3 burst coming out of the locker room.

"Obviously, I liked the way that we started the game, the way we started both halves really. We came to play. Did the loss here last year, and especially the margin we lost by have something to do? It may have," Pearl said of his team's motivation.

"You just have to like the energy that the guys started both halves with. Wow. I was impressed. They're feeding off each other to some extent now. You can't take road wins for granted, they're hard to come by."


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