The Tennessee Volunteers opened the 2016 SEC Tournament by uncorking their best game of the season and throttling the Auburn Tigers 97-59.
The Vols raced out to a ten point lead over the first 3:30 before AU could even score a point, and it was off to the races from there. The Tigers didn't reach double digits in points until 8:03 to go in the first half, and UT was already at 24 points by then. Tennessee closed out the first half with a 44-25 lead, and it only got worse. The Volunteers would lead by as many as 41 points before settling for a 38-point lead.
Armani Moore's 22 points led all scorers, while Detrick Mostella backed him up with 17 and Devon Baulkman contributed 16. Only two Tigers reached double figures in T.J. Dunans with 17 and Tyler Harris with 14. Tennessee held Auburn to under 30% shooting on the game while burning up the nets with a 58.6% field goal percentage of their own. The Vols shared the ball to the tune of 20 team assists, while AU managed just four assists on their 17 field goals.
Tennessee beat Auburn by 38 in this game, easily surpassing the team's prior 26-point win over the Tigers when the Vols beat them 71-45 in Knoxville. It was an amazing recovery for a UT team that had been limping down the stretch, while it's a disappointing end to a disappointing season for Auburn. Tennessee will now play 5-seed Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament's second round.