KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Kennedy Chandler tied a program record with seven steals as No. 13 Tennessee downed Presbyterian, 86-44, Tuesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
In another record-book highlight, sophomore Justin Powell became only the ninth Vol in program history to shoot 100 percent from 3-point range when firing at least five attempts.
Tennessee (5-1) was propelled by 14-of-27 (.519) shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. It was the first time the Vols have shot better than 50 percent while attempting 20 or more 3-pointers since Nov. 12, 2019, when UT shot .545 against Murray State.
The Vols showed especially stingy defense as they have all season long. Chandler became the seventh Vol ever to reach the seven-steal mark and the first since Vincent Yarbrough on Dec. 22, 1998. The freshman standout has 12 steals in his last two games and 15 in his last three games inside Thompson-Boling Arena.
Chandler’s terrific night saw him record 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field. He added seven assists and his fifth block of the season.
Powell provided a potent scoring punch off the bench, shooting 5-for-5 from 3-point range to match Chandler with 15 points. Powell became the first Vol to shoot five or more triples in a game without a miss since Jordan Bowden in December of 2017.
Victor Bailey Jr. also scored in double figures Tuesday with 14 points. He shot strictly threes and hit 4-of-8 from deep, while also knocking down a pair of free throws. Santiago Vescovi finished with 11 points and four assists.
After the offensive onslaught in the first half, the defenses clamped down to start the second period. In the first nine minutes, the sides only combined for 17 points. Tennessee forced Presbyterian into seven turnovers, four of which were steals. As the offenses shook off their early struggles, Tennessee found itself on another long scoring run. It ran up a 16-3 margin over 5:12 with six different Vols getting in on the scoring action during that time.
The Vols and Presbyterian traded blows for the first five and a half minutes of the game, but as the defense found its groove, the offense did too. Tennessee rattled off a 15-3 run lasting 4:31, during which Bailey Jr. knocked down a pair 3-pointers and sunk two free throws. The Blue Hose countered with an 11-point burst, but a determined Volunteer side would not be deterred. Tennessee held Presbyterian scoreless over the last five minutes and secured 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field.
Up next, the Vols hit the road for a two-game trip. Tennessee begins its trip by facing Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game will be televised on FOX Sports 1. The Big Orange then venture to the Big Apple where they take on Texas Tech in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
MAKING IT RAIN: Tennessee made 14 threes during the win, including nine in the first half. Six different Vols connected on triples Tuesday. After averaging 6.6 made 3-pointers per game for the 2020-21 season, the Vols are averaging 10.2 per game through six games this year.
LOCKING IT DOWN: On the defensive end, Tennessee’s steals have also seen an uptick this season. The Vols racked up 13 steals against Presbyterian and are averaging 10.5 per game this season, up from last season’s 7.3 per game average.
STOP THE SHOOTER: Presbyterian’s Rayshon Harrison, who entered the game tied for 16th in the nation with 21.3 points per game, was limited to just seven points on 3-for-10 shooting Tuesday.