Tennessee senior guards Jordan Bowden, Lamonte Turner reach major milestone in victory for Vols

AP photo by Wade Payne / Tennessee guard Lamonte Turner drives past Alabama State's D.J. Heath during the first half of Wednesday night's game at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. Turner scored 13 points and reached 1,000 for his Vols career as the team rolled to a 76-41 win.

KNOXVILLE - First it was Jordan Bowden's moment.

Finally, after a number of attempts, Lamonte Turner joined him.

On a night when the Tennessee Volunteers looked sloppy on the basketball court and there wasn't much intrigue in the final result, it was fitting the two seniors reached a milestone together.

Bowden and Turner each went over the 1,000-point mark for their collegiate careers in the 20th-ranked Vols' 76-41 win over Alabama State at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"That's awesome," said freshman guard Josiah-Jordan James, who had 13 rebounds and five assists. "They're probably the closest guys on the team. I feel like we're all close, but they've been together for four years and that's just time. For them to do it on the same night, that's just God and that's a blessing."

The Vols (4-0) return to competition when they host the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at 7 p.m. Monday. The Mocs fell to 3-2 with Wednesday night's 89-53 loss at Florida State.

Bowden entered the game five points shy of the big number; Turner was 11 points short. Bowden wasted little time becoming the 51st player in program history to reach 1,000, doing so on a jumper that the put the Vols up 20-15 with 5:54 to go in the first half.

photo AP photo by Wade Payne / Tennessee guard Jordan Bowden shoots over Alabama State forward Brandon Battle during the first half of Wednesday night's game in Knoxville. Bowden led the Vols with 16 points and reached 1,000 points for his Tennessee career in a lopsided win.

Turner took a little longer to become No. 52. He rattled off 10 quick points in the first half to get within one, but he missed his next six shots - most of which appeared to be halfway down - before making a driving layup and the ensuing free throw to put Tennessee up 48-28 with 11:38 remaining.

Turner was actually being recruited to Tennessee by former head coach Donnie Tyndall, who was fired after one season at the helm after being tagged with NCAA sanctions. Bowden, a Knoxville native, joined him a year later after having to take a path that included a year in prep school.

As a result the two have shared the court for four seasons, and on Wednesday night they shared a moment.

"Their growth has been amazing," Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. "They are both really hard-working, great people, the kind of people you want to be around every day. I don't know if they ever have a bad day.

"Lamonte was the first kid we recruited. His overall development not only as a player, but watching him grow as a human being is something that we're all really proud of. Jordan, we kind of pushed in there and he's had to play different roles throughout his career, but those guys have been as big a part of the success over the past couple of years as the guys we lost."

Other Tennessee players had solid performances against the Hornets (0-4), whose only double-digit scorer was Tobi Ewuosho with 17 points. John Fulkerson scored 10 points and made two steals for the Vols. Yves Pons continued his hot start with 11 points and a team-high three blocks. Freshmen Olivier Nkamhoua and Drew Pember had eight points apiece.

But Wednesday was really about the seniors. Bowden led the Vols with 16 points while knocking down three 3-pointers, and Turner had 13 points and a team-high six assists.

"That's big time," Pember said. "They deserve it. If anybody on this team deserves it, they do due to how hard they work."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3 or at Facebook.com/VolsUpdate.