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Tennessee starts fast, pounds UT-Martin

Nov 19, 2008 - 3:35 AM KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- With its outside shots not falling, Tennessee proved on Tuesday it can score just as efficiently from inside the arc.

Sophomore Brian Williams had a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds and Tyler Smith added 19 points as No. 13 Tennessee cruised from start to finish for a 91-64 victory over Tennessee-Martin.

J.P. Prince scored 11 points off the bench and Wayne Chism had 11 and 10 rebounds for the Volunteers (2-0), who set a school record with their 34th consecutive home victory.

Williams finished 8-of-10 from the floor, recording his second career double-double.

"It was good to see Brian Williams step up, and play big around the basket, and obviously control the backboards," Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl said. "It was really, really positive for us."

Tennessee averaged 24.3 shots from the arc last season and went 11-of-29 from the 3-point line in its 114-76 season-opening victory over Tennessee-Chattanooga on Saturday.

The Volunteers went just 2-of-17 from the arc against the Skyhawks, but it hardly mattered.

Tennessee stormed out of the gates, jumping to a 14-2 lead 3:33 into the contest.

"I thought in the first five or so minutes, they set the tone of the game," Skyhawks coach Brett Campbell said. "We lost our poise, I thought. We did not react to the pressure like we needed to. To their credit, they make you play that way and we did not respond in the right way."

Tennessee-Martin struggled from the floor and the home team continued to pour it on, extending the lead to 27-6 with 13:44 remaining in the first half. Smith's layup capped the fast start as Tennessee had 18 points in the paint early.

The Skyhawks never recovered, failing to come closer than 15 during the first half and the Volunteers held a 57-31 advantage at the break.

The second half was much of the same as Tennessee-Martin hoisted numerous shots from the arc to try and cut into the deficit but Tennessee continued to dominate to the paint. Williams' layup capped an 8-0 burst - with all of the points scored on layups or dunks - to give the Volunteers a 72-42 bulge with 13:50 left to play.

Despite the lopsided win, Pearl was disappointed with his team's lack of focus.

"I thought we played pretty well to start, but we could not maintain that level of excellence," he said. "I thought our intensity was mixed; we did not value the basketball with too many alley-oops, and too many guys trying to do things that were out of character.

"We took the opportunity last game to get better, but not tonight."

Tennessee outscored Tennessee-Martin, 66-24, in the paint.

The nation's fourth-leading scorer last season, Lester Hudson had 20 points to lead Tennessee-Martin (1-1), which shot 28 percent from the floor (21-of-74), including 9-of-36 from the arc.

"They are obviously bigger at every position than us, but in our league (the Ohio Valley Conference), that is where we compete," Campbell said. "I think we will be fine, physically, against the rest of our league."

Hudson had 18 in the second half when the game was already out of reach and finished 7-of-22 from the floor.