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NCAAB: No. 18 Tennessee blows past UT-Martin, 90-62

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Freshman Kennedy Chandler poured in 20 points and hit all four of his 3-point attempts in his debut and No. 18 Tennessee poured it on in the second half for a 90-62 win over UT-Martin on Tuesday in the season opener in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Volunteers led by eight points at the half and sprinted away from UT-Martin in the second half, pushing their lead to as many as 32 points before emptying the bench down the stretch.

Santiago Vescovi added 20 points for the Volunteers (1-0), with Justin Powell adding 13 points, and Olivier Nkamhoua scoring 11 points and taking 14 rebounds in the win. Tennessee’s 17 3-pointers in the game established a new single-game team record.

KK Curry led the Skyhawks with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and KJ Simon scored 14 points before being forced from the game with a right leg injury six and a half minutes into the second half. David Didenko added 11 points for UT-Martin in the loss.

The Skyhawks gave Tennessee a run for its money in the first half, leading by three points seven minutes into the game before the Volunteers rallied and took charge. A 3-pointer by Kennedy Chandler put Tennessee up 24-21 and the Volunteers expanded their advantage to as many as 11 points before settling for a 43-35 lead at halftime.

Simon, on 6 of 9 shooting from the floor, poured in 13 points in the half to pace all scorers. UT-Martin outshot the Volunteers 55.6 percent to 37.5 percent over the first 20 minutes.

Tennessee was led by Chandler’s 12 points at the half. The Volunteers forced 10 turnovers in the half while committing just 4 and owned a 25-16 edge in rebounding.

The Volunteers played without forward John Fulkerson, a first-team preseason All-SEC pick. Fulkerson is rehabbing a fractured thumb on his left (shooting) hand that occurred during an intrasquad scrimmage on Oct. 16.

–Field Level Media

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