Tennessee cruises to 77-58 win against ArkansasBy BETH RUCKER, AP Sports Writer Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012
Trae Golden scored 13 points, Jeronne Maymon and Skylar McBee each had 12 points, Cameron Tatum added 11 points and Jarnell Stokes had 10 as the Volunteers shot 56 percent (28 of 50) while holding the Razorbacks to 42.9 percent shooting (24 of 56).
Tennessee (14-12, 6-5 Southeastern Conference) hit nine of its first 10 shots and went on a 19-0 run early. The Vols, who have won 10 of their last 11 at home, led by as many as 24 points in the first half and held a 47-30 halftime lead.
Arkansas (17-9, 5-6) used a 7-0 run immediately before halftime and another shortly after the break to pull within 14 points. Brandon Mitchell hit a layup for the Razorbacks with 8:22 to play that cut Tennessee’s lead to 60-50, but it was as close as the Hogs would get.
BJ Young scored 18 points, and Hunter Mickelson scored 12 for Arkansas, which hasn’t won a road game this season.
With Arkansas leading 6-4, Tatum hit a jumper that launched Tennessee’s 19-0 run. Tatum, who has struggled through a shooting slump lately and didn’t even attempt a shot in the Vols’ 75-70 win at Florida on Saturday, followed that basket with a 3-pointer.
McRae sank a 3 of his own to put the Vols up 21-6 with 13:55 until halftime, and Tennessee finished the half 7 of 10 from the perimeter against the SEC’s second-toughest 3-point defense. Arkansas limits its opponents to 29.3 percent shooting from the arc.
The Razorbacks, who lead the SEC with a plus-4.1 turnover margin, turned the ball over four times and missed two shots during their 4:23 scoreless stretch. The Hogs finished with 18 turnovers, leading to 26 points for the Vols.
The Vols’ own sloppiness with the ball allowed Arkansas to go on a few short runs and threaten Tennessee’s lead. The Vols finished with 14 turnovers of their own.
Arkansas and Tennessee entered the game in a three-way tie with Mississippi for fifth place in the SEC. With the win, the Vols moved into a tie with Mississippi State for fourth while the Hogs dropped to a three-way tie for sixth.
Before the game, Tennessee announced that coach Cuonzo Martin had suspended Kenny Hall indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. Hall, who averages 6.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and a block, hadn’t missed a game this season and started 16 of them, including the last two.
Jarnell Stokes returned to the starting lineup in Hall’s place. Stokes sat out against South Carolina on Feb. 8 and came off the bench against Florida on Saturday after suffering a minor injury to his wrist.