Tennessee basketball: Three takeaways from Vols 82-61 win vs. Arkansas

In another rebound game, Tennessee basketball beat the Arkansas Razorbacks Tuesday. Here’s what we learned from the Volunteers’ victory.

After a rough home loss to the Kentucky Wildcats over the weekend, Tennessee basketball was able to get back on track by dominating the Arkansas Razorbacks at home Tuesday night. In another game without Josiah-Jordan James, the Vols came away with a 82-61 win.

Arkansas scored first with a three-point shot, but UT matched it and then never trailed. They used an 8-0 run and 20-7 run in the first half to build a big lead, and the Hogs never really threatened the rest of the way. With the win, Rocky Top improves to 14-10 and 6-5 in the SEC, and Arkansas falls to 16-8 and 4-7 in the SEC.

Up next for the Vols is a tough road game against the South Carolina Gamecocks this Saturday, as they desperately look to get on a run down the stretch. Here are three things we learned about Tennessee basketball in this game.

1. Coming out party for Santiago Vescovi?

Once again, there was no Josiah-Jordan James. But Santiago Vescovi, against a very good team, looked like a true point guard in this one. He is finally showing his elite potential, as he had 20 points and eight assists.

Most importantly, though, Vescovi had only three turnovers. Oh, and for those who have concerns about his defense, he did have a steal. Finally, he shot six-of-10 from the field, three-of-four from the three-point line and five-of-six from the free throw line. So he was efficient in every way possible, and that was key.

2. Efficient shooting finally returned.

They haven’t shown this in a long time. Tennessee basketball finally had a complete shooting performance. For the night, they shot 51 percent from the field, and they only had 11 turnovers, meaning they were efficient in every way.

The Vols were solid on the outside, as we mentioned Santiago Vescovi going three-of-four from outside. However, Jordan Bowden helped out by hitting two-of-seven three-pointers to score 16 points, and Yves Pons also hit a three while adding 12.

3. Inside game dominated in every way.

Part of the reason shooting was so efficient is due to the Vols finding an advantage inside. Yves Pons helped, which we already mentioned, by being aggressive, and Santiago Vescovi set lots of players up. As a result, John Fulkerson had 14 points, and Olivier Nkamhoua had 10 off the bench.

But scoring wasn’t the only way the Vols dominated inside. They also outrebounded the Hogs 40-29 with 11 offensive rebounds. Fulkerson had eight boards, and Nkamhoua had six. Meanwhile, they had six blocks. Simply put, they dominated the paint in every way, and that helped pave the way for a blowout without Josiah-Jordan James.