Courtesy UT Sports


Game Recap: Men’s Basketball | January 06, 2024

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team turned in a dominant performance Saturday evening, defeating No. 22/19 Ole Miss, 90-64, at a sold-out, over-capacity Food City Center.

Junior forward Jonas Aidoo and junior guard Zakai Zeigler both posted double-doubles in the victory for fifth-ranked Tennessee (11-3, 1-0 SEC) in its SEC opener against one of the final two undefeated Division I teams in the nation.

The Volunteers held Ole Miss (13-1, 0-1 SEC) scoreless for a span of 5:15 early in the first half and posted a 12-0 burst in 4:20 during that, turning a tie score into an 18-6 advantage. The Rebels followed their 2-of-14 start by making four of their next five shots, tallying nine straight points in 2:31 to trim the deficit right back to three, 18-15, with 7:44 to go in the frame.

Tennessee, buoyed by two 3-pointers from junior guard Jahmai Mashack in the final 25 seconds of the half, took a nine-point edge, 40-31, into the locker room. The Volunteers made their last four long-range shots of the session after a 1-of-12 start through 16-and-a-half minutes.

The home team scored 11 of the first 14 points after the intermission, including hitting two 3-pointers to extend its streak to six in a row, and went ahead by 17 points, 51-34, with 17:10 to go. The Volunteers pushed the margin all the way to 25, 63-38, with 13:51 on the clock after scoring five points from the free-throw line in just two seconds.

Tennessee stretched its cushion as high as 29 in the final minute and claimed the 26-point decision. It marked the program’s largest win over a ranked foe under ninth-year head coach Rick Barnes and its biggest such win since Feb. 2013. The decision was also the second-largest of the season for any team against a ranked foe.

The Volunteers, who trailed for a total of 49 seconds, led by 20-plus points for the final 14:56 of the contest. The triumph was their fifth this season by over 20 points and their third, including the second in as many games, by 25-plus.

Aidoo paced all players in both points (24) and rebounds (10), notching his third double-double of the season. The Durham, N.C., native shot 10-of-19 from the field to tie a carer high in makes, plus added two assists with zero turnovers.

Zeigler finished with 17 points to go along with a season- and game-best 10 assists and a season-high five rebounds. He committed only two turnovers in 37 minutes and went 4-of-11 from 3-point range. Fifth-year guard Santiago Vescovi totaled 11 points, four assists and just one giveaway, while Mashack scored 10 points and tied a season best with four assists.

Senior forward Jaemyn Brakefield led Ole Miss with 22 points, shooting 7-of-8 from the floor, hitting both his 3-point attempts and going 6-of-7 from the line. Junior guard Jaylen Murray had 11 points and a team-leading eight rebounds, all of which were in the first half, while senior guard Allen Flanigan added 10 points.

Following its 1-of-12 start from beyond the arc, Tennessee went 10-of-18 the rest of the way to finish 11-of-30 (36.7 percent). The Volunteers, who had 25 assists, also controlled play on the interior, posting a commanding 19-4 edge in offensive rebounds, leading to a 22-5 mark in second-chance points and a 42-30 advantage in paint points.

The Volunteers now head to Starkville, Miss., where they take on Mississippi State in their SEC road opener Wednesday at 7 p.m., live on SEC Network from Humphrey Coliseum.

To keep up with the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team on social media, follow @Vol_Hoops on Instagram and X/Twitter, as well as /tennesseebasketball on Facebook.  

• Barnes now owns 790 victories in his career, 11 behind John Calipari—the lone active DI coach above him—for No. 14 on the all-time wins list (min. 10 years at a Division I school).
• Along with moving to 9-1 in its last 10 matchups with Ole Miss, Tennessee also improved to 17-2 in its last 19 home games versus the Rebels, dating back to Feb. 19, 1992.
• This Ole Miss team, which was one of the final two unbeaten schools in Division I, is the second in program history to win 13 straight games, joining the 2007-08 group that also opened 13-0 before heading to Knoxville ranked top-20 for the SEC opener and losing to a top-10 Tennessee squad.
• The Volunteers improved to 27-7 (.794) while ranked in the AP top five during Barnes’ tenure, across four different seasons.
• Tennessee is now 16-6 (.727) at home against AP top-25 teams in Barnes’ tenure, including 13-3 (.813) with both teams ranked.
• The Volunteers extended their home winning streak against AP top-25 teams to 11 in a row, a stretch that dates back to Jan. 30, 2021, versus Kansas.
• Tennessee upped its record in top-25 matchups, regardless of location, to 23-20 (.535) under Barnes’ direction.
• The Volunteers now own a seven-game winning streak that is tied for the ninth-longest in the country, per KenPom.
• The crowd of 21,932 not only served as a sellout, but was actually 254 over the ticketed capacity of the arena.
• Food City Center last had a listed crowd over capacity on Dec. 14, 2019, when 21,868 fans watched the Volunteers’ game against Memphis.
• Saturday’s affair marked the second of five confirmed sellouts—a number that already ties the single-season program record—this year and the 29th time in Barnes’ tenure 20,000-plus fans have been in attendance at Food City Center.
• The last time Tennessee defeated an AP-ranked opponent by greater than 20 points was Feb. 16, 2013, when it topped No. 25 Kentucky, 88-58, at Food City Center.
• The only team to beat an AP-ranked foe by more points this season is Colorado, which topped No. 15 Miami by 27 points, 90-63, on a neutral-site affair in Brooklyn, N.Y.
• Tennessee is the first team since the 2021-22 season to defeat an AP-ranked team by 25-plus points in league play, regardless of conference.
• The last time Tennessee had one player log a points/rebounds double-double and another notch a points/assists double-double in the same game was Feb. 2, 2019, at Texas A&M, when Jordan Bone (18 points, 10 assists) and Grant Williams (22 points, 10 rebounds) did so.
• Saturday marked the 21st time in Barnes’ nine-year tenure, including the second this season and seventh time in SEC play, the Volunteers had 25-plus assists in a contest.
• Tennessee’s 22 second-chance points and plus-17 margin in the category were both season highs.
• The Volunteers were one rebound shy of doubling up the Rebels, grabbing 47 and allowing a season-low 24.
• Four different Volunteers had four-plus assists, while only one Rebel reached that number.
• Ole Miss utilized 10 players and the nine besides Brakefield combined to shoot 16-of-46 (34.5 percent) from the field, 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) on 3-pointers and 6-of-10 (60.0 percent) at the line.
• The Volunteers had more assists (13) in the first half than Ole Miss had made field goals (12), as Tennessee went 16-of-34 (47.1 percent) and the Rebels shot 12-of-29 (41.4 percent).
• Tennessee then repeated that feat in the second half, posting 12 assists on an 18-of-37 (48.6 percent) clip, while the Rebels went 11-of-25 (44.0 percent).
• Aidoo scored a game-best 12 points in the first half alone, already matching his seventh-highest total as a Volunteer in even a full game.
• Aidoo, whose 24 points marked the second-highest mark of his career, has scored 17-plus points in
three of the last seven games after never previously surpassing 15 in the first 61 outings of his career.
• Three of Aidoo’s four-career double-doubles have come in the last 11 games, dating back to Nov. 20, 2023, versus Syracuse at the Maui Invitational in Honolulu.
• Aidoo’s 10 made field goals matched the career high he set on Dec. 12, 2023, against Georgia Southern.
• Zeigler is the first player ever to record six points/assists double-doubles for the Volunteers, breaking a tie with Rodney Woods (1972-75) atop the career leaderboard.
• Saturday marked the sixth time Zeigler has posted double-digit assists in his career—he scored 11-plus points in all of them—and the first since Feb. 25, 2023, against South Carolina.
• Zeigler has connected on four-plus 3-pointers in three of the last four games—he is 13-of-34 (42.4 percent) from deep during that stretch—after previously doing so twice in his first 75 appearances.
• Vescovi passed C.J. Watson (2002-06) and Ron Windby (1964-67) to move from No. 21 up to No. 19 on Tennessee’s all-time scoring list, now possessing 1,433 points.
• With his 128th appearance as a Volunteer, Vescovi tied Armani Moore (2012-16), Chris Lofton (2004-08) and Allan Houston (1989-93) for the No. 10 spot on the program’s all-time leaderboard.
• Mashack, who eclipsed 1,000 minutes played in his collegiate career, made two 3-pointers for the second game in row after doing so just once in his first 75 outings.
• Fifth-year guard Josiah-Jordan James stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, while committing no turnovers.

Courtesy UT Sports


What's happening

Alzheimer’s Tennessee Walk To Make Alzheimer’s A Memory!

Alzheimer’s Tennessee Walk To Make Alzheimer’s A Memory!

Find An Upcoming Walk Near You! Foothills Walk Alcoa High School Saturday, April 6 Knoxville Walk World’s Fair Park Saturday, April 13 Middle Tennessee Walk At Franklin The Park at Harlinsdale Farm Saturday, April 20 5 County Walk Historic Downtown Clinton Saturday, April 27 Tri-Cities Walk Willow Springs Park, Johnson City Saturday, April 27

Knoxville Opera 2024

Knoxville Opera 2024

Check out all the excitement that The Knoxville Opera has to offer this season, including the Rossini Festival April 20th, and Cendrillon May 3rd, 4th & 5th!