The Tennessee Volunteers (2-0) beat the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (0-3) 85-62 Wednesday night in Thompson-Boling Arena.
With 10 minutes remaining in the game, sophomore point guard Trae Golden was fouled behind the 3-point line and made all three free throws. Tennessee took a 49-48 lead in the game, which, for the majority, had been back and forth. This play proved to be the momentum Tennessee needed to break the stalemate. The Vols then went on a 27-9 run, expanded the lead to 19 points and never looked back.
 “Coach Webster, one of our assistant coaches, came to me and told me I need to lead better,” Golden, who led UT with 17 points and added 11 assists, said. “So when he came to me and said that, I was just trying my hardest to make sure everybody got shots and talk more.”
Despite being a sophomore, Golden provided leadership at a critical point in the game.
“I think that the team feeds off of me, and that’s something I have to be conscious of and be ready to take that challenge and make sure in every game to bring that intensity and energy,” Golden said.
Out of the gate, the Vols took a 9-0 lead, with Golden leading offensively and the team playing tough on the defensive end of the court.
“I thought Trae, once again, had a good night, thought he did a good job keeping his composure and stepping up to the challenge on the defensive side of the ball,” Vols coach Cuonzo Martin said.
ULM played the Vols tight in the first half — neither team was able to open up a substantial lead.
“I have to give a lot of credit to Louisiana-Monroe, the way they cut on offense, they way they executed their offense,” Martin said. “I didn’t think we did a very good job in the first half defending. But I think a lot of credit goes to those guys.”
ULM guard Fred Brown hit a 3-pointer to give the Warhawks a 1-point lead, but Tennessee replied with a Skylar McBee three. McBee finished with a career-high 15 points and went 5-for-9 from 3-point range.
“When the open shot comes, you take it,” McBee said.
“(McBee) practiced hard,” Martin said. “He practices at a high level every day.”
ULM would take the lead again on an R.J. McCray basket, but Tennessee answered with a three from senior Cameron Tatum. McBee stole the ball on the next possession and Golden was able to score in transition to give Tennessee the 29-25 lead. The teams went to the locker room tied 33-33.
ULM’s preseason All-Sun Belt guard Fred Brown led the Warhawks in the first half with 10 points but also committed four fouls in the first 20 minutes, which kept him on the bench for a large portion of the second half.
 Throughout the game there were eight lead changes. Tennessee struggled to make shots from the field. This, along with turnovers, prevented the Vols from taking control of the game until Golden’s key 3-point play at the foul line.
“Coach told us to be patient, let the offense develop and let everything come to us,” forward Jeronne Maymon said. “I think that really helped us.”
The Vols took charge of the game from there. Good defense and solid shooting helped Tennessee push the lead to 69-55. Tatum made two straight 3-pointers on the next two possessions, and the Vols led 75-57. ULM never recovered.
Next, the Vols head to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational. Their first game will be Monday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. EST against the sixth-ranked Duke Blue Devils.