SLOWLY BUT SURELY: Vols overcome early game struggles to defeat Bearcats, improve to 2-0
By: John Dunn
The All Vol Call in Show
Coming off of a win against (21) Colorado, Tennessee was looking to develop an offensive rhythm, develop chemistry, and continue to play stifling defense in their second game of the season. The 2-1 Cincinatti Bearcats came into Thompson-Boling Arena looking to upset the twelfth-ranked Vols.
The Bearcats had early-game control. Tennessee took their first lead over Cincinnati with 6:54 remaining in the first half at 18-17. However, The Bearcats quickly regained the lead in transition before Keon Johnson put the Vols back on top with a baseline jumper 20-19.
Santiago Vescovi extended the Tennessee lead to 22-19 before Yves Pons further extended the lead to two possessions 24-19. The Vols closed the final six minutes of the first half on a 6-5 run to take a 30-24 lead into the halftime break.
The Bearcats opened the second half on a 6-0 run before Tennessee answered with a 6-0 run of their own to bring the score to 36-30. However, yet another 6-0 run from Cincinnati tied the game at 36-36.
From there, Tennessee's offense began to find rhythm from the floor and the free throw stripe. With 11:13 remaining in the game, Tennessee led by 47-42 as Cincinnati Center, Vogt, was credited with his fourth foul.
Jaden Springer delivered a bucket on a strong drive to the cup, before Fulkerson extended the Tennessee lead to 51-45 with 9:45 remaining in the game.
However, Eason then connected on a three-point basket to pull back to within three points 51-48. The teams found themselves knotted at 53-53 before Tennessee began to pull away, using the double-bonus to their advantage at the charity stripe.
With 1:05 remaining, the Vols' lead grew to 61-56. From there, Tennessee closed out the game from the free throw line, securing their second straight win, 65-56 and improving to 2-0 on the season.