Vols bomb Mocs from long range
Posted: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 7:02 pm
By BETH RUCKER
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin does not care how many 3-point shots his players attempt, as long as they have a good reason to take them.
Chattanooga smothered Tennessee’s post players all night, opening up the perimeter for the Volunteers, who went a combined 13-of-39 from three in their 76-63 win against the Mocs on Monday night.
“I’ve got to go back and watch film tonight, but I think out of the 39, maybe 35 of them probably were good shots,” Martin said. “Sometimes it doesn’t fall, but you have to be aggressive to take it.”
The Vols have attempted more 3-pointers only once, when they took 50 shots from behind the arc against North Carolina A&T on Nov. 27, 2007.
Trae Golden finished 4-of-9 on 3-pointers on his way to tying his career high of 29 points. When he couldn’t get an open look from outside or an open passing lane to the posts, he drove through the paint to hit shots at the rim.
Golden, who leads Tennessee (7-6) with an average 14.2 points and 30 minutes per game, started against Chattanooga just three days after having surgery to repair damage done when his nose was fractured during a practice drill on Dec. 16. The starter has played in every game since then, missing only a couple of practices.
“He’s pretty good, and he’s very hard to keep out of the lane,” Chattanooga coach John Shulman said. “When he’s able to get in the lane, that opens everything for everybody else.”
The double teams inside cleared the way for Tennessee’s Skylar McBee, who hit five 3s and finished with 16 points, and Jordan McRae, who scored 12. Though Jeronne Maymon struggled to score at the post, he still finished with 10 rebounds before fouling out with 1:25 to play.
“I guess they knew how good our posts are, and they were challenging our guards,” Golden said. “We just had to make sure we were ready to knock down shots.”
Tennessee scored the first seven points of the game as Chattanooga (6-9) hit only one of its first eight shots.
The game quickly turned into a 3-point shooting contest between the two teams. The Vols had taken a 16-9 lead on a trey by Renaldo Woolridge with 9:23 in the first half, when the Mocs’ shots started to fall.
Published in The Messenger 1.3.12