Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Tyler Smith finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four steals, as 16th-ranked Tennessee earned an easy 99-78 win over North Carolina A&T at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Kenny Hall also netted 16 points and Skylar McBee had 12 points for Tennessee (9-2), which shot 45.1 percent from the field, but made only 5-of-26 from three-point range. J.P. Prince chipped in with 10 points and six assists, while Scotty Hopson had 10 points and five boards for the Volunteers, who regrouped after suffering a 77-55 loss at USC on Saturday. UT has won five of its last six overall.
"Our defense turned the corner a little bit tonight, we forced 34 turnovers, had 21 steals, the second-most in school history," Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl said. "We had 26 assists, and did a good job of making that extra pass. The three-point shooting is still a concern; we did not shoot well other than Skylar McBee and Renaldo Woolridge."
Dwane Joshua led all scores with 20 points to go along with four rebounds and four steals for North Carolina A&T (4-8), which dropped a lopsided 80-59 decision to Miami-Florida on Monday and have now lost six of seven. Thomas Coleman and Tavarus Alston ended with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
"Tennessee played great that first 15 minutes," North Carolina A&T head coach Jerry Eaves said. "Their intensity was super, they put their hands on the ball, they were aggressive; they played great. Hats off to coach Pearl for bouncing back from that USC loss."
Tennessee scored the first 21 points of the contest, capped by Prince's three- point play with just under seven minutes in and the Volunteers' lead ballooned to 41-15 at the six-minute mark following Wayne Chism's trey.
Joshua made a layup in the closing seconds of the half, but the Vols were up by a commanding 55-27 margin at the break.
The second half was no different than the first as UT maintained a comfortable double-figure advantage and the outcome was never in doubt.
The Vols improved to 2-0 in the all-time series with North Carolina A&T...The Aggies made 41.9 percent of their shots and went 10-of-33 from beyond the arc.
12/23 23:09:53 ET