Hot shooting early and gritty defense pushed Tennessee past Kennesaw State 76-67 Friday night.
Skylar McBee and Jordan McRae led the Vols with 14 points apiece. Kenny Hall (13) and Jarnell Stokes (10) also scored in double-figures as the Vols won their 14th straight season opener. The Vols are now 24-2 all-time in home openers at Thompson-Boling Arena, winning the last home debuts.
Tennessee (1-0) shot 60.5 percent from the floor (26-of-43) for the game including 70.8 in the first half.
The Vols were a crisp 7-of-12 from beyond the arc thanks to strong 3-point shooting efforts from McBee (4-of-7) and McRae (3-of-4).
Tennessee led the Owls, 42-30, at halftime thanks to some remarkable shooting from the floor. The Vols made 70.8% from the floor (17-of-24). Hall and McRae led the Vols with eight points.
The Vols used an 8-0 run to take a 10-4 lead on a Josh Richardson dunk, 5:22 into the first half.
Tennessee heads to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in Bayamon, P.R.
The Vols will open the event against UNC-Asheville on November 16 at 12:30 p.m.
That game will air on ESPNU and can be heard on the Vol Network.