Tennessee wins NCAA opener, routs Wright State 73-47
DALLAS (AP) — Admiral Schofield had 15 points and 12 rebounds as Tennessee advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 73-47 win over Wright State with coach Rick Barnes back in familiar territory Thursday.
Lamonte Turner had 19 points and a career-high nine assists for Tennessee (26-8), SEC co-champions in the regular season after being picked in the preseason to finish 13th in the 14-team league. Grant Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Volunteers never had much trouble with the Horizon League tournament champ making its first NCAA appearance since 2007, even after missing their first six shots in the game. The Vols led 3-2 when Schofield made a 3-pointer with 16:42 left, and Wright State (25-10) went back ahead on the next possession before Jordan Bowden’s layup put the Vols up for good.
Barnes is 5-0 in NCAA Tournament games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, about a three-hour drive from the University of Texas. He led the Longhorns to 16 appearances in 17 years, with four NCAA wins in the home arena of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, before switching “Ts” and shades of orange three years ago.
It was Barnes’ 100th Volunteer game, and 57th win. The Vols are the No. 3 seed in the South Region.
Loudon Love led Wright State with 12 points and nine rebounds. Everett Winchester had 11 points for the Raiders, who shot only 31 percent (19 of 60) in their lowest-scoring game of the season.
Wright State: The Raiders finished the season with 25 wins, their most playing a Division I schedule. They are 0-3 in NCAA Tournament games. … Grant Benzinger, their leading scorer at 14.5 points per game and the MVP of the Horizon League tournament, had only five points on 2-of-16 shooting, 1-of-9 on 3-pointers.
Tennessee: This is the third different program that Barnes has led to at least one NCAA victory. He also won tournament games at Clemson and Texas. … It as the Vols’ 14th win away from home this season.
While the season is over for Wright State, Tennessee is back in the AAC on Saturday to play Miami or Loyola-Chicago.
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