LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Sherron Collins had 26 points and nine
assists, and Cole Aldrich had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help
Kansas knock off No. 14 Tennessee 92-85 Saturday.
Needing a win against a big-name school, Kansas (10-3) fed off
the energy of a rowdy crowd to build an early 16-point lead, then
held off the Vols down the stretch for its 32nd straight win at
After a series of missteps against bigger schools, the young
Jayhawks held their composure against Tennessee's defensive
pressure, pulling out the kind of win that should look good come
NCAA tournament time.
Poor shot selection and defensive breakdowns put Tennessee (9-3)
in a big hole early and the Vols never recovered, ending their
three-game winning streak. It doesn't get any easier, either: The Vols
face No. 16 Gonzaga on Wednesday, their final game before
starting Southeastern Conference play.
Tyler Smith led the Vols with 21 points and Wayne Chism, back
after a scary fall in his last game, had 17 points and six blocked
shots while playing with a bruised spine and elbow.
Allen Fieldhouse is already one the nation's loudest arenas and
the atmosphere was more like a Metallica concert than a college
basketball game for the first meeting between these two
Tennessee seemed rattled by the raucous atmosphere early on,
putting up quick shots on offense, getting beat off the dribble and
on backdoor cuts at the other end.
Coach Bruce Pearl called two timeouts in the first 4½ minutes -
after plenty of stomping and red-faced screaming - and it still
couldn't seem to calm the Vols down. Kansas followed with a 10-0
run, going up 25-9 on Brady Morningstar's 3-pointer from the top of
Tennessee finally started to settle down late in the first half,
using its defensive pressure to whittle the lead to 40-31 by
halftime. The Vols never made it back, though.
The Jayhawks answered every run with one of their own, the final
one coming after Tennessee pulled within 77-70 with 4 minutes left.
Collins and Aldrich had a lot to do with it.
Aldrich was all over the court, hitting straightaway jumpers,
flying in for dunks on alley-oops and fast breaks, swatting shots
into the stands. He keyed the final Jayhawks run, getting a pair of
two-handed slams that put Kansas up 83-72 with just over two
minutes left. Aldrich finished 10-of-14 from the floor and blocked
After taking just five shots in his last game, Collins was far
more aggressive against the Vols, repeatedly beating them off the
dribble to get to the rim or dish to teammates for easy layups and
jumpers. He shot 7-of-14 and added five rebounds.