KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- The No. 13 Tennessee Volunteers headed West to take on the Colorado Buffaloes in the program’s first true non-conference road test since Jan. 25, 2020. The Vols passed the test, beating Colorado, 69-54.
The Vols picked up the program’s first win over a true non-conference opponent since 2018 when the Orange and White beat Memphis on the road.
The play in Colorado started a little rocky for the Vols. The Buffaloes opened with an 8-0 run shooting 2-2 from the perimeter, adding a layup. Tennessee started to find their groove on offense with an 11-2 run, capped off by a Santiago Vescovi three to take the lead for the first time, 11-12 with 13:19 left in the first half.
Josiah-Jordan James checked in after missing the Vols last three games and made an immediate impact on both ends of the court with a jumper to help spark the offense and added three defensive rebounds and two steals.
Tennessee went into the locker rooms with a ten-point lead after a 14-5 run in the final six minutes of the first half, 34-24.
Kennedy Chandler opened the scoring for the Vols in the second half by knocking one down from beyond the arc to give Tennessee a 37-29 lead, and he continued to show why he is an NBA talent.
Chandler scored a career-high 29 points on 13-of-20 shooting from the field, the most field goals made by a Vol in a game since 2013.
Chandler scored 13 points in the second half including the silencer to close out the Vols win, 69-54.
Tennessee beat Colorado in the paint, 42-28 but struggled to get the shots to fall from the perimeter (6-24).
The Vols turned defense into offense, scoring 21 points off of Colorado’s 15 turnovers.
“It was a great team win today even though we didn’t have a great day shooting the basketball and we also missed some shots at the rim but those aren’t as easy as we all think,” said Vols head coach Rick Barnes. “It was really the first true road game we’ve had in two years and we responded pretty well in a lot of different areas.”
Up Next: Tennessee heads to the Big Apple, facing Texas Tech in the Jimmy V Classis at Madison Square Garden on December, 7.