Thursday’s box score
Tennessee 69, WSU 60
Percentages: FG .382, FT .600. 3-Point Goals: 6-20, .300 (Van Vleet 2-2, Armstead 2-5, White 1-3, Baker 1-4, Wiggins 0-1, Early 0-2, Williams 0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 4 (Hall 3, Orukpe). Turnovers: 16 (Armstead 4, Williams 3, Hall 3, Early 2, Van Vleet 2, Orukpe 2). Steals: 7 (Williams 2, Baker, Hall, White, Armstead, Cotton). Technical Fouls: Armstead, Hall.
Percentages: FG .475, FT .806. 3-Point Goals: 2-10, .200 (Edwards 1-2, McRae 1-3, Chievous 0-1, Richardson 0-1, Golden 0-1, McBee 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 3 (Stokes 2, Makanjuola). Turnovers: 17 (Richardson 5, Golden 4, Hall 3, Makanjuola, Lopez, Stokes, McBee, McRae). Steals: 6 (Richardson 3, Stokes, Hall, McRae). Technical Fouls: None.
Att.–15,215. Officials–Leslie Jones, Jamie Luckie, Karl Hess.
WSU got a 10-0 effort from senior center Carl Hall. He outplayed Tennessee’s big men with another brutally efficient scoring game and hustle plays that make others look lazy.
“I didn’t recruit him… I wish I did though,” Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin said. “He just plays extremely hard. He’s a guy with a great skill-level, but he plays so hard. If you can’t match his level of toughness and intensity he’ll beat you every time.”
Hall, who scored 21 points, finished one rebound short of his fifth double-double this season. He is the first player to score more than 18 points against Tennessee this season.
He won the matchup with Volunteers sophomore center Jarnell Stokes, a Wooden Award and Naismith Memorial Trophy candidate. Stokes, who fouled out, scored six points in 18 minutes.
“I was trying to get him in foul trouble,” Hall said. “You’ve got to do that, or you’re going to lose.”
WSU guard Malcolm Armstead plays with a swagger and an edge that serves him well much of the time. On Thursday, those attributes got away from him and it cost the Shockers.
Referees hit Armstead with a technical foul in the first half, leading to a four-point possession for Tennessee. Armstead made a three-pointer, cutting Tennessee’s lead to 16-14, then drew the attention of the officials with his mouth. Trae Golden made two free throws and the Volunteers got two more on the possession to go up 20-14 with 7:37 remaining in the half. The foul also forced Armstead to the bench with a second foul.
“I saw him turn to their bench and say something,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “It was really foolish.”
Hall got a technical in the second half for yelling after a putback. Marshall argued that one.
Switch it up
Tennessee made 6 of 35 three-pointers in its two previous games, both losses. WSU’s move to a zone defense didn’t surprise anybody.
With the game tied 52-all, the Shockers went zone and it worked for most of the shot clock. The Volunteers passed the ball around until guard Trae Golden had to drive to the basket. He hit an off-balance shot and drew a foul. His free throw gave WSU a 55-52 lead. Later, Tennessee’s Jordan McRae got open against the zone and made a three for a 58-52 lead.
“We should have played it a little more, in retrospect, with these fouls,” Marshall said. “I give them credit, they made plays against man to man. They made a couple of shots against the zone. McRae hit a big one."
WSU is 2-1 against Tennessee after previous wins in Hawaii in a Christmas tournament and the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, N.C.… Tennessee center Yemi Makanjuola scored nine points off the bench. He averaged 1.7 this season.… WSU director of player development Devon Smith played for the 1999 Ohio State team that advanced to the Final Four with a win at Thompson-Boling Arena.… The Arena is located on Phillip Fulmer Way, named for the former Tennessee football coach who served as an assistant at Wichita State from 1974-78.
— Paul Suellentrop