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Wichita State vs Tennessee

Tennessee revives offense, upends No. 23 Wichita State

CBSSports.com wire reports
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Trae Golden believed Tennessee could not afford a third consecutive loss, so he made sure the Volunteers avoided that fate.

Golden scored 25 points and sparked an 11-1 run that closed out a 69-60 victory against No. 23 Wichita State on Thursday night, a win that snapped the Volunteers' two-game losing streak and handed the Shockers their first loss of the season.

"I told the guys it was a must-win before the game," Golden said. "I knew it was a must-win."

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In its previous two games, Tennessee had lost 37-36 to Georgetown in the SEC/Big East Challenge on Nov. 30 and 46-38 at Virginia on Dec. 5. The only other time Tennessee failed to score 40 points since the shot clock was introduced for the 1985-86 season was a 43-35 loss to Auburn on Jan. 15, 1997.

Tennessee (5-3) knew it needed a quality nonconference victory before entering Southeastern Conference competition. Wichita State (9-1) wanted to improve to 10-0 for the first time in school history.

The result was a December game played with March intensity, as players dived on the court and even jumped toward the scorer's table on at least one occasion while chasing after loose balls.

"I just wanted to make sure we won that game," Golden said. "We couldn't afford to go on a three-game losing streak. It was a huge win for us."

Tennessee broke out of its offensive funk by shooting 47.5 percent from the field and matching the highest point total Wichita State had allowed all season. The Shockers won 72-69 at Air Force on Dec. 2.

The Vols are shooting 50.8 percent in their victories and 29.1 percent in their losses this season.

"This is a quality win against a quality opponent," said Tennessee guard Jordan McRae, who added 17 points. "That's a great team. They were undefeated, ranked. That's one we needed."

Carl Hall matched a career high with 21 points and also had nine rebounds -- seven offensive -- for Wichita State, which moved into the Top 25 two weeks ago.

"We just didn't play well," Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said. "We had too many guys not play as well as they need to play. We weren't very smart. We fouled too many times. We didn't make our free throws. They did."

Tennessee won despite playing most of the second half without Jarnell Stokes, the Vols' leading scorer and rebounder. Stokes had six points and seven rebounds while playing only 18 minutes due to foul trouble.

Hall delivered a three-point play that gave Wichita State a 59-58 lead and caused Stokes to foul out with 3:55 remaining, but the Vols outscored the Shockers 11-2 the rest of the way.

Golden went 6 of 8 from the free throw line during the game-ending run. He made one of two free throws to tie the game with 3:29 left. Kenny Hall put Tennessee ahead for good by making two free throws with 3:10 remaining.

Throughout the game, Golden drove into the lane and drew contact. The junior guard went 13 of 16 from the foul line after attempting a total of 11 free throws in the five games leading up to this one.

"Trae Golden was huge tonight," Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said. "He really attacked the rim, made plays and forced the referee to make calls. He was very aggressive. I thought it was his best game all season, just being assertive and being in tune on both ends of the floor. I thought he was outstanding defensively."

Tennessee got big performances from role players as the Volunteers bench outscored Wichita State's 31-17.

McRae was 8 of 8 from the foul line and Tennessee was 29 of 36. Wichita State was 12 of 20.

Tennessee reserve Yemi Makanjuola had nine points and eight rebounds to help the Vols overcome Stokes' foul trouble. Makanjuola, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, didn't have more than five points or four rebounds in any of Tennessee's first seven games.

"He's been playing really well defensively," Martin said. "Tonight he made some baskets for us. We've spent a lot of time with him offensively (on) being aggressive, being assertive, looking to score the ball. I thought he did a great job."

The Vols led 30-28 at halftime before Wichita State pulled back ahead as Carl Hall scored eight points in the first five minutes of the second half.

Tennessee honored former coach Ray Mears, who went 278-112 from 1962-77 and remains the winningest coach in the history of the program. Mears' surviving relatives were given a painting of him in a halftime ceremony that featured many of his former players.

The Vols came out for pregame drills in warmup suits with orange and white vertical stripes, a relic from the Mears era.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Trae Golden, driving here against Wichita State's Demetric Williams, helps spark Tennessee's offense out of dormancy.  (AP)
Trae Golden, driving here against Wichita State's Demetric Williams, helps spark Tennessee's offense out of dormancy. (AP)
Scoreboard
Wichita State #23 (9-1)283260
Tennessee (5-3) «303969
WICHST:C. Hall 21 Pts
WICHST:C. Hall 9 Reb
WICHST:T. Cotton 4 Ast
TENN:T. Golden 25 Pts
TENN:Y. Makanjuola 8 Reb
TENN:T. Golden 5 Ast

Related Video

 
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Wichita StateTennessee
WICHST
Carl Hall
TENN
Trae Golden
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
21902525
Wichita State Shockers
C. Hall, F359-103-690321
D. Williams, G321-74-62356
R. Baker, G292-61-24146
M. Armstead, G253-90-02248
C. Early, F170-52-23052
T. Cotton, G201-50-05412
J. White, F202-62-23027
E. Orukpe, C71-20-20012
F. Van Vleet, G72-30-00016
N. Wiggins, G50-20-00020
C. Lufile, F30-00-00000
K. Coleby, CDid Not Play
E. Wessel, GDid Not Play
Z. Bush, FDid Not Play
D. Green, FDid Not Play
Totals 21-5512-2028102860
 38.2%60.0% 
Tennessee Volunteers
T. Golden, G346-1113-1625025
J. Richardson, G331-31-23143
K. Hall, F210-04-44014
S. McBee, G200-30-00030
J. Stokes, F183-40-27156
J. McRae, G324-88-820017
Y. Makanjuola, C203-53-48149
D. Edwards, G112-30-00015
B. Lopez, G70-20-01000
Q. Chievous, G40-10-01020
R. Murphy, FDid Not Play
D. Miller, FDid Not Play
J. Maymon, FDid Not Play
A. Moore, GDid Not Play
D. Reese, GDid Not Play
Totals 19-4029-362882069
 47.5%80.6% 
Missouri Valley
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
N. Iowa0-09-124
Wichita St.0-08-13
Evansville0-08-2109
Loyola-Chi.0-07-284
Illinois St.0-06-353
So. Illinois0-07-4281
Missouri St.0-05-5165
Bradley0-04-6285
Indiana St.0-04-6280
Drake0-02-8302

Southeastern
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Kentucky0-011-01
LSU0-08-215
Arkansas0-07-217
Texas A&M0-07-254
Vanderbilt0-07-2136
Ole Miss0-07-3111
Alabama0-06-335
Georgia0-05-352
S. Carolina0-05-390
Florida0-06-4126
Miss. State0-05-4104
Missouri0-05-5156
Tennessee0-04-469
Auburn0-04-5162
 
Other games
LAV 44 Final
UNLV 91