KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (press release) – Grant Williams scored 15 of his game-high 31 points in the first half and No. 6-ranked Tennessee used a 35-14 run over a nearly 11-minute span to pull away and defeat the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 87-65, on Friday before an announced crowd of 16,864 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Admiral Schofield added 15 points and seven assists for Tennessee (2-0), which placed all five starters in double figures for the second straight game while finishing 34-for-63 (54 percent) from the floor. Louisiana (1-1) received an 18-point performance from JaKeenan Gant while Marcus Stroman added 11 points and a game-high nine assists.
Williams, who finished 11-for-15 from the floor and 3-for-4 from behind the 3-point line, scored six straight points for the Volunteers to snap a 13-all deadlock in the first half. The 2018 SEC Player of the Year gave Tennessee the lead for good, 15-13, on a jumper before his 3-point play pushed the Vols’ lead to 18-13.
Both teams traded buckets early in the first half before Louisiana took a 10-6 lead on a bucket by Jerekius Davis with 16:50 remaining. After buckets by Jordan Bone and Williams that tied the game at 10-all, Cedric Russell gave the Ragin’ Cajuns their last lead – 13-10 – on a 3-pointer from the right wing.
Tennessee pushed its lead to 48-27 in the first half on a dunk by Williams with 2:34 remaining and led 48-31 at halftime. Louisiana closed to within 63-50 on a bucket by Gant with 13:06 remaining before 3-pointers by Williams and Jordan Bowden fueled a 10-2 run that gave the Vols a 73-52 lead with 10:23 left.
Justin Miller came off the bench to score 10 points for Louisiana, which finished 25-for-63 from the floor. Russell added nine points for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Malik Marquetti adding eight points and a team-high nine rebounds.
Louisiana will return to action on Friday, Nov. 16, when it travels to Lawrence, Kan., to face top-ranked Kansas at historic Phog Allen Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., and will seen live on ESPN+.
Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsMBB), Facebook (RaginCajunsMBB) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsMBB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Men’s Basketball.