Spartans drop season opener at Tennessee, 92-63
For video of head coach Mike Demen't post-game comments, click here.
KNOXVILLE, TENN.—Tennessee's Trae Golden scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Volunteers to a 92-63 win over UNCG in the season opener for both teams, Friday at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game is part of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Golden also added nine assists, six rebounds and two steals to his stat line. He finished 10-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-9 from three-point range. He led a Tennessee attack which shot 65 percent from the field and made 15 three-pointers.
"When those threes go down it takes something out of you defensively," said UNCG head coach Mike Dement. "We've been putting a lot of emphasis on our defense lately and it doesn't show on the stat sheet."
Korey Van Dussen led the Spartans with 12 points.
Tennessee opened the game by hitting its first three field goals on its way to an early 13-2 lead. The Vols eventually shot 63 percent from the field in the first half on their way to a 49-30 halftime advantage.
Once Tennessee established a double-digit lead the Spartans never got closer than seven points, the last time coming when Cody Henegar's jumper made it 17-10 with 12:37 left in the first half.
The Spartans continued to battle late in the first half, getting to within 37-28 on a Kyle Randall three-pointer with 3:31 left. But Tennessee closed the half on a 12-2 run for a 19-point lead at the break.
UNCG shot 42 percent from the game, and out-rebounded Tennessee, 34-31. The Spartans also committed just 10 turnovers but were only 6-of-15 from the free throw line.
Derrell Armstrong and Trevis Simpson each scored 10 points for the Spartans. Armstrong also led UNCG with eight rebounds and three assists.
The Spartans continue Maui Invitational play when they visit Georgetown, 7 p.m., Monday.