NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two 20-point scoring outputs from junior Victor Bailey Jr. and freshman Jaden Springer, along with a double-double from senior Yves Pons, pushed the No. 25 Tennessee basketball team past Vanderbilt, 70-58, Wednesday inside Memorial Gym.
The win was Tennessee’s (16-6, 9-6 SEC) eighth consecutive victory over Vanderbilt (6-13, 2-11 SEC) and UT’s fifth straight in the Commodores’ home gym.
The Vols were led by Bailey Jr., who poured in 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting and 5-of-8 from 3-point range. The Austin, Texas, native also added three rebounds and three assists.
Springer added 20 points of his own, marking his fifth 20-point performance of the season. He finished the night 5-of-8 from the field and was a stellar 10-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Springer also totaled a season-high-tying three steals, a pair of assists and a block.
Pons scored an even 10 points for the third consecutive game and was a monster on the boards, pulling in 10 huge rebounds for his third career double-double and his first of the season.
The opening half was defined by runs, as each team had a spurt during which it outscored the opponent by at least 10 points.
Down 20-17 with less than seven minutes to play in the half, the Vols used an explosive 15-2 run to take a 32-22 lead into halftime.
Out of the break, UT extended its run to 22-5 through the first four minutes of the second half, increasing its lead to 39-25 at the under-16 media timeout.
The Vols held an advantage as large as 15 points in the second half, but Vanderbilt refused to go away, trimming Tennessee’s lead to as few as four points down the stretch.
However, some clutch made free-throws and multiple key stops cemented the night’s final score line.
Bailey’s Been Ballin’: From a scoring standpoint, this is the best three-game stretch of Victor Bailey Jr.’s career. He has scored 68 points over Tennessee’s last three games. His previous best three-game scoring output was 49 total points against Prairie View A&M (15), Alabama State (18) and Ball State (16) in the second, third and fourth games of his career when he was a freshman at Oregon in 2017. Bailey Jr. has scored 31 percent of the Vols’ total points over the last three games (68 of 218).
Up Next: Tennessee stays on the road for a Saturday afternoon matchup with Auburn. Tipoff from Auburn Arena is set for noon ET on ESPN.