During his freshman season at Tennessee, forward Jarnell Stokes made a promise that he would win at Rupp Arena before his career was over.
He’s doing his best to make that happen today, as the junior has controlled the paint and helped the Vols jump out to a lead at halftime.
Stokes could not be stopped on the boards, grabbing 11 rebounds (5 offensive) and scoring 12 points.
Julius Randle tried to match Stokes with 9 quick point on 4/4 shooting, but the Vols eventually adjusted and swarmed Randle anytime he caught ball in the pain,t sending as many as three guys at him.
That left guys open on the perimeter, and Andrew Harrison was the one to take advantage, scoring 10 points on 3/6 shooting.
Once he got his offense going, that opened the paint back up for Randle, who went on a personal 7-0 run towards the end of the half, and a James Young 3-pointer (first FG of the game) gave the Cats a 34-32 lead at halftime.
Randle finished with 16 points, 3 assists and 2 rebounds as he and Harrison combined to score 26 of UK’s 24 points in the first-half, and not other UK players scored more than 3 points.
Though outplayed for much of the half, the Cats did play a fairly clean game, committing just 5 turnovers while dishing out 7 assists compared to UT’s 7 TO’s and 5 assists.
Despite the majority of the points from both teams coming in the paint, the teams combined to block just 4 shots and commit 14 fouls.
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