It wasn't what new Tennessee coach Kevin O'Neill wanted to see, but it was
about what he expected.

The Vols shot 27 percent from the floor in the first half and led Tennessee
Tech 29-27 at the break Sunday before 8,014 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

"I thought we were going to have to hand out No-Doz to our fans at the
half," O'Neill said. "That couldn't have been much fun to watch."

Tennessee played better in the second half, though, and downed the Golden
Eagles 74-54 to give O'Neill a victory in his first game as Tennessee's
coach.

"Tennessee Tech played pretty darn well," O'Neill said. "I don't think
they're an SEC club by any means, but I'm not sure we're an SEC club at
this point. It's going to take awhile."

The Vols (1-0) ran their all-time record to 15-0 against the Golden Eagles
(1-1) behind 17 points each from Steve Hamer and Stanley Caldwell, who also
had 14 rebounds.

Freshman Shane Carnes contributed 14 points for Tennessee, 12 of them in
the second half as the Vols stretched a 2-point halftime margin. Junior
college transfer Damon Johnson added 11 points.

Chris Turner led Tech with 15 points, Marc Glanton added 13 and Carlos
Floyd scored 10.

The Vols controlled the boards behind Caldwell, building a 50-33 edge, and
held Tech to 27 percent shooting (17-of-62) from the field, a trademark of
O'Neill's Marquette teams. Caldwell was 6-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4
from 3-point territory.

While the Vols were only 5-of-15 shooting treys, they consistently passed
inside-to-outside looking for the long shot.

"They were collapsing when we threw the ball inside," Caldwell said.
"(O'Neill) basically tells us to spot up. Anytime the ball goes to the
inside, if you're not a center, then you spot up.

"I guess this was my best game at Tennessee," Caldwell added.

Tennessee hit 17-of-27 shots in the second half (63 percent) to make up for
shooting poorly in the first half and finish the game at 43 percent
(26-of-60).

Tech took its only lead of the second half at 34-33 on a 3-pointer by
Glanton with just under 17 minutes left.

But Carnes and Hamer sparked the Vols to a 17-3 run over the next five
minutes for a 50-37 lead, and the Golden Eagles never got closer than nine
points after that.

"Fortunately, I got some positive things off the bench," said Hamer, who
came in with 18:01 left in the second half to start the run.
"Unfortunately, I did a whole lot negative things as well. But the bottom
line is that we won the basketball game."

The Vols forged ahead 21-8 in the first half, but had given all but two
points of it back by halftime, when Tennessee Tech pulled to 29-27.