Admiral Schofield scored a career-high 25 points at Ole Miss, lifting Tennessee to the victory.
The No. 19-ranked Vols (21-7, 11-5 SEC) clinched a double bye in the SEC Tournament with the 73-65 victory, winning in Oxford for the first time since 2011.
The Rebels (12-17, 5-11), playing in their second game under interim head coach Tony Madlock, couldn’t overcome their cold shooting. Ole Miss was just 1-of-23 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Schofield, whose previous career high (22 points) came last year against Auburn, was 9-of-14 shooting from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line with 7 rebounds.
It was another tough outing for Vols’ sophomore Grant Williams, who ran into foul trouble and scored 6 points on 3-of-10 shooting.
Tennessee held a commanding 41-26 advantage at halftime after leading by as many as 20 points in the first half.
The Vols had 20 assists on their 25 field goals, and point guard Jordan Bone tied his career high with 8 assists in the victory.
Tennessee is 15-0 when holding opponents to 40 percent shooting or worse.
If there’s one statistic that’s sure to get Rick Barnes’ attention, it’s the amount of offensive rebounds and second-chance points the Vols surrendered. Ole Miss had 16 offensive rebounds, out-rebounding Tennessee 47-43 and scoring 13 second-chance points to the Vols’ 8.
Ole Miss big run
The Rebels opened the second half on an 11-0 run, taking advantage of Tennessee turning the ball over four times on its first five possessions to cut the lead to 41-37. The Vols had only six turnovers in the first half. The Rebels hit a 3-pointer in that opening flurry after going 0-for-13 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Derrick Walker’s big minutes
Tennessee was plus-26 points with freshman power forward Derrick Walker on the floor. Walker helped the Vols get off to a rousing start. Walker proved valuable when Grant Williams picked up two fouls in the first half, scoring 4 points on 2-of-2 shooting and playing solid defense. Walker’s fast break dunk gave Tennessee a 27-8 lead at the 9:36 mark. Walker missed the Florida game after suffering a sprained ankle last Tuesday.
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