KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Admiral Schofield scored 22 points to match a career high Friday night as Tennessee went on a 28-0 run early in the game and breezed to an 88-53 season-opening victory over Presbyterian.
Presbyterian took a 2-0 lead on Davon Bell's driving basket with 18:26 left in the first half, but the Blue Hose wouldn't score again for 9 minutes, 45 seconds. Tennessee led 28-2 by the time J.C. Younger ended the Presbyterian drought.
Jordan Bowden scored 12 points during the 28-0 spurt, including seven straight to break a 2-2 tie and put Tennessee ahead for good. Bowden's flurry included a 3-pointer and a conversion of his own offensive rebound after a Kyle Alexander missed free throw.
Tennessee raced to a 46-14 halftime lead before coasting the rest of the way.
Schofield previously had scored 22 points in an 83-77 loss to Auburn on Jan. 2, 2016.
Bowden scored all 15 of his points in the first half and Grant Williams added 14. Bell scored a career-high 20 points and Francois Lewis had 10 for Presbyterian.
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has won 16 of his last 17 season openers, the lone exception coming a year ago when the Vols started out with an 82-69 loss to Chattanooga. That stretch includes Barnes' stint at Texas before coming to Tennessee for the 2015-16 season.
This marked the head coaching debut of Presbyterian's Dustin Kerns, who worked as a graduate assistant for Buzz Peterson's Tennessee staff in 2003-04.
Kerns had spent the last four seasons as a Wofford assistant before getting hired at Presbyterian. Kerns took over the job from Gregg Nibert, who resigned in April after going 419-409 in 28 seasons.
Kerns inherits a Big South program that has endured 10 straight losing seasons, including a 5-25 mark last year.
Presbyterian: Bell's big game should give the Blue Hose at least some cause for optimism. Bell had played just six games last season before an injury caused him to take a medical redshirt.
Tennessee: The best news for Tennessee may have been John Fulkerson's and Jalen Johnson's debut.
Fulkerson made his return from a series of injuries that knocked him out after 10 games last season. Fulkerson dislocated his right elbow and fractured his right wrist Dec. 15, then underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. He had four points, five rebounds and five assists in 18 minutes.
Johnson played eight minutes and scored two points in his first Tennessee appearance after redshirting last year. Johnson underwent a procedure in July to address a chronic stress fracture in his left shin.
Presbyterian: Saturday at National Christian College Athletic Association program Johnson.
Tennessee: Tuesday vs. High Point.
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