KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee freshman guard Josh Richardson thinks the Volunteers' first big victory of the season came at a pretty good time.
After struggling through their nonconference schedule, the Vols (8-7, 1-0) opened the Southeastern Conference win with a 67-56 victory against No. 19 Florida on Saturday. They've got a chance to prove that win wasn't a fluke with a trip to No. 20 Mississippi State on Thursday and a visit by No. 2 Kentucky on Saturday.
"(Beating Florida) gives us confidence going into conference play knowing that we can beat one of the best teams in this league," Richardson said. "Considering they were one of the top 15 teams in the nation that gives us confidence that we can play anybody."
Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin thought his team's effort against the Gators was its best of the season on both ends of the court. The Vols held Florida to season-low 56 points and 35.7 percent shooting while hitting 51 percent of their own shots.
"We played hard, competed, got the ball inside, made big plays and, more than anything, sustained the blows," Martin said. "We did a really good job of slowing those guys down."
Morgan State coach suspended
Morgan State basketball coach Todd Bozeman has been suspended indefinitely without pay after being involved in a physical altercation with one of his players during a victory at South Carolina State on Saturday night.
Bozeman is accused of punching senior guard Larry Bastfield during the game. The extent of the contact between Bozeman and Bastfield is being reviewed by officials of both schools.
"It's definitely overblown," Bozeman told The Associated Press on Monday. "I didn't hit him."
The coach insisted that he would never strike one of his athletes.
Lady Vols' Johnson gets SEC accolades
Tennessee senior forward Glory Johnson has earned the Southeastern Conference player of the week honor for a second week in a row.
Johnson was tabbed as the player of the week after posting double-doubles in each of the sixth-ranked Lady Volunteers' wins against Chattanooga, No. 19 Georgia and Arkansas. For the week, the Knoxville native averaged 15.7 points, 13.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.
Against the Lady Razorbacks, Johnson grabbed her 1,000th career rebound, joining Chamique Holdsclaw, Sheila Frost and Tamika Catchings as the only other Lady Vols to have more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for their career.
Johnson is averaging 14.3 points and 9.9 rebounds this season.
Morehead State 68, Jacksonville State 52: Senior guard Linda Dixon scored a team-high 20 points, and junior forward Ashar Harris recorded her seventh double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds as Morehead State concluded an Ohio Valley Conference road swing with a victory at Jacksonville State.
The Eagles improve to 6-10 overall and 3-1 in the OVC, while JSU dropped its ninth straight game to fall to 3-15 and 0-5 in the league.
Harris was held to just two points in the first half but erupted for 17 point and seven boards in the final half. Dixon scored 10 in each half. The Eagles also outrebounded the hosts 21-19 in the final half and limited JSU to 31 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes.
Eastern Kentucky 62, Murray State 61: Led by guards Marie Carpenter's 15 points and Jasmine Stovall's 14 points and nine rebounds, Eastern Kentucky edged host Murray State by one.
A jumper by Kyra Watson with 41.8 seconds left got the Racers (4-11) within one. The Colonels (8-7) ran the shot clock down but missed a layup with 15 seconds to go. Kayla Lowe hit five three-pointers for the night, but her leaning jumper from the top of the key bounced off the rim as time ran out.