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2019 NCAA Tournament: Tennessee survives against Colgate

It was close for a bit, but the Vols handled their business.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Colgate Raiders vs the Tennessee Volunteers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Tasked with facing an upset-minded three-point happy Colgate Raiders squad, the Tennessee Volunteers opened the NCAA Tournament with a 77-70 victory Friday afternoon in Columbus.

The Vols opened the game on a 9-0 run, but Colgate started clawing back in right away, showing why they were such a potentially dangerous matchup. The Raiders were the third-best three-point shooting team in the tournament and eighth-best overall in the nation, and they showed it. Jordan Burns hit a pair of quick threes to cut Tennessee’s lead to just three, but the Vols regained control and pushed their lead to 16 at one point before going into halftime up by 12. Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bowden each had 10 points in the first half, as the Vols showed that even when Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams aren’t leading the way, they can still succeed.

The second half, however, saw the tide turn in favor of the Raiders, especially early on. Colgate went on a 19-4 run over the first eight minutes of the second frame, taking a 49-48 lead over Tennessee behind more hot three point shooting. While Colgate would remain competitive for the rest of the night, Tennessee was just too much for the Raiders to overcome down the stretch.

Admiral Schofield bounced back from a slow first half to record a team-high 19 points, as four Vols reached double-figures and Grant Williams wasn’t one of them.

The Vols move on to Sunday where they’ll play the #10 seed Iowa Hawkeyes.