KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jordan Bowden scored 19 of his career-high 26 points in the second half as Tennessee rallied from a 12-point deficit to beat Murray State 82-63 on Tuesday night.
Tennessee (2-0) shot 12 of 22 from 3-point range to earn its 28th consecutive home victory, extending the longest active home winning streak of any Division I team. Tennessee hasn't lost at home since falling 94-84 to Auburn on Jan. 2, 2018.
Murray State (1-1) made the Volunteers earn this one.
Tennessee scored the game's first basket but fell behind immediately afterward and wouldn't regain the lead until midway through the second half. The Vols then pulled away by scoring the game's final 16 points and shutting out Murray State over the last 7 minutes, 21 seconds.
Bowden shot 6 of 8 on 3-point attempts — including 5 of 6 in the second half — to spark the comeback. The senior guard's previous career high was 21 points.
Yves Pons added 19 points to post a career high in scoring for the second straight game. Lamonte' Turner had a career-high 14 assists to go along with five points. John Fulkerson added nine points and nine assists.
Tevin Brown scored 17 points, Jaiveon Eaves had 13 and KJ Williams added 10 for Murray State.
Murray State led by as many as 12 in the first half and took a 44-35 advantage into the locker room. Murray State shot 8 of 14 from 3-point range, controlled the glass and forced 10 turnovers during that dominant first-half performance.
But in the second half, Murray State was 1 of 9 from 3-point range and got outrebounded 25-12.
Tennessee trailed by 11 early in the second half before creeping back into the game with Bowden scoring seven points during a 10-1 run. The Vols finally tied the score at 54-all with 12:14 left when Turner drove the baseline and hit a layup for his first basket of the night.
The Vols pulled ahead for good 59-58 with 10:36 left on a Bowden 3-pointer that highlighted an 8-0 run. Murray State stayed close for a while but had no answers for Bowden,
Murray State: The Racers lost the game but served notice they'll be competitive as they adjust to life without Ja Morant, the former All-America guard who went to the Memphis Grizzlies with the second overall pick in the NBA draft after leading the Racers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The final score didn't reflect the way Murray State controlled much of the game.
Tennessee: Bowden sparked the Vols' comeback, but Pons' performance also was noteworthy because it showed signs the junior's ready to deliver a breakthrough season. Pons has posted a career high in scoring in each of Tennessee's first two games, as he had 15 points in a season-opening victory over UNC Asheville last week. Pons had just 2.2 points per game last season.
Murray State hosts Brescia on Saturday.
Tennessee faces No. 20 Washington in Toronto on Saturday.