Austin Peay vs Tennessee

No. 10 Tennessee 83, Austin Peay 54


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The return of Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl's signature speedy, full-court press got off to a slow start.

The Volunteers finally found their groove after halftime, and Scotty Hopson scored 16 points to lead No. 10 Tennessee to an 83-54 victory over Austin Peay on Friday night.

"We've just got to stay consistent," said Cameron Tatum, who scored 15 off the bench. "We're a very unselfish program, and I think we're starting to get a grasp on that. Once it all comes together like we're supposed to, it's going to be special."

Coaching a young squad through a rebuilding season, Pearl slowed down the game last year. That should change with returning players accounting for 95.4 percent of Tennessee's scoring.

The Vols were sloppy and slow in the first half against the Governors (0-1), going 43.3 percent from the field. They ramped up their pressing defense, though, wearing down Austin Peay in the second half and helping to create scoring opportunities.

The Vols out-rebounded the Governors 27-15 and shot 53.8 percent after the break.

The Governors managed only 34.5 percent from the field in the game and turned the ball over 19 times, leading to 22 Tennessee points.

"They obviously wore us down with their size and athletic ability," Austin Peay coach Dave Loos said. "I was pleased with the way we made a little run at the end of the first half. We just couldn't come out in the second half and get anything going."

Tennessee led by only six at halftime, and preseason All-SEC pick Tyler Smith encouraged his fellow Vols to face the second half as if they were down by 10 points.

They scored the first nine out of the break, and Tatum's 3-pointer pushed the lead to 43-27 with 14:28 to go.

"We got great leadership from Tyler Smith. Tyler Smith played outstanding tonight. He made great energy," Pearl said. "I was really, really pleased with his effort, his effectiveness, his leadership, his attitude."

Smith finished with 14 and 11 rebounds, and Wayne Chism had 11 points and 10 boards.

Anthony Campbell led a young Austin Peay team with 17 points. Wesley Channels added 13 and Tyrone Caldwell had 11. The Governors rank eighth in the nation for fewest upperclassmen.

Tennessee went on a 15-0 run in the middle of the first half, thanks to some help from Smith's defensive rebounding. Hopson hit two 3-pointers, and Chism's layup gave the Vols a 27-10 lead with 7:12 before halftime.

The Governors answered with a 13-2 run. Caldwell scored eight during the stretch, and Wesley Channels sank a fast-break layup with 24 seconds left to cut Tennessee's lead to 31-25.

"Obviously coach Pearl said something to them in the locker room. They came out and had a great start to the second half," Campbell said. "I hate halftime because if we had that same momentum we would have probably stayed with them at the start of the second half."

Tennessee is 5-0 in season openers under Pearl, and the Vols' average margin of victory in those games is 27.8 points. Pearl now has 99 wins with the Volunteers.

Loos is in his 20th season leading the Governors. With 314 wins, he's six victories shy of becoming the Ohio Valley Conference's all-time winningest coach.

"I think we showed some good things," Loos said. "Tennessee is as-advertised for the whole game."

Copyright 2018 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.
Austin Peay (0-1)252954
Tennessee #10 (1-0) «315283
AP:Anthony Campbell 17 Pts
AP:Wes Channels 8 Reb
AP:Wes Channels 3 Ast
TN:Scotty Hopson 16 Pts
TN:Tyler Smith 11 Reb
TN:Melvin Goins 4 Ast

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TennesseeAustin Peay
Tyler Smith
Wes Channels
Austin Peay Governors
W. Channels, G383-136-683213
A. Campbell, G-F357-120-021217
T. Caldwell, G284-72-412111
J. Fraley, C210-51-26021
M. Williams, F201-50-05152
D. Roberson, F-C241-32-22124
C. Brown, G151-40-24212
C. Reaves, F82-30-02014
J. Blake, G60-20-00100
E. Mosley, G50-10-00000
E. Fields, FDid Not Play
J. Harris, GDid Not Play
J. Ross, FDid Not Play
Totals 19-5511-1630111654
Tennessee Volunteers
T. Smith, F256-82-3114014
W. Chism, F245-131-3102211
S. Hopson, G246-80-242016
C. Tatum, G-F226-90-041215
M. Goins, G172-60-03415
B. Maze, G211-50-01322
J. Prince, G171-30-00122
B. Williams, C173-72-24028
S. McBee, G160-40-03320
K. Hall, F112-40-14034
Q. Cannington, G20-00-00100
M. Hubert, G22-20-01006
S. Pearl, F20-00-00110
J. Bone, GDid Not Play
E. Negedu, FDid Not Play
R. Woolridge, G-FDid Not Play
Totals 34-695-1145221783
Ohio Valley
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Murray St.6-214-5110
Jax. State6-215-6182
Tenn. Tech5-313-8188
Austin Peay5-310-10222
SE Missouri St.4-410-11238
Tenn. St.3-58-11217
Eastern Ill.3-57-12277
Eastern Ky.2-68-13261
UT Martin2-67-14323
Morehead St.2-66-13265

TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
S. Carolina3-412-754
Ole Miss3-410-9102
Miss. State2-414-578
Texas A&M2-513-633
Other games
Mhead St 59 Final
Kentucky 75
Frl Dksn 61 Final
NCGN 62 Final
FLAGULF 58 Final
Mich St 97
Nridge 64 Final
Purdue 89
W&M 66 Final
UConn 75
PRES 41 Final
SIUE 69 Final
Illinois 96
Hofstra 65 Final
Kansas 101
TNTC 50 Final
Minn 87
RIDE 88 Final
Miss St 74
GTOWN 74 Final
Tulane 58
Wright St 69 Final
Wash 74