No. 4 Tennessee rode to a dominant 70-41 win over Georgia Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena to improve to 17-3 in the season and 7-1 in the SEC game. It was the 11th time this season the Vols have won by 20 points to break a program record. Here are our takeaways from the victory of the Vols.
Georgia is the 10th opponent Tennessee has held below 50 points. The Dawgs were shot 29% from field, 18% (4 of 22) from the three-point line, and forced 20 turnovers resulting in 25 UT points. 12 of the sales were through a theft, like Santiago Vescovi tied a career high at five and Zakai Zeigler had four.
Terry Roberts, UGA’s top scorer, who came into play averaging 15.9 points per game, was held off the field with 5-for-15 shots and just 1-for-5 from threes. The Dawgs only made seven shots in the second half.
“We felt like the most important thing we had to do was not foul her.” Rick Barnes said. “We just didn’t want to give them a chance to hit the free-throw line like that. On-One Defense, our ball screen defense.
Second point guard Zakai Zeigler led the Vols with 11 points, seven assists and four steals. freshman forward Tobe Awake was the only other Vol to score in double digits that night with a career-high 10 points. Nine of the 10 vols who saw action scored at least five points. As a team, Tennessee shot 42% from the field and 6 of 21 (29%) from behind the three-point line.
“No matter what the game, everyone goes into the game thinking, ‘What can I do to win’ and not ‘What can I do to score 20 points,'” said Zeigler. “Tonight was the perfect night to show that. I didn’t even know I had 11 points or whatever I had. I don’t think anyone in the dressing room knows how many points they scored or how many shots they took. It just showed the selflessness of this team.”
Tobe Awake occurs
The freshman forward took a big step forward when his number was recently called despite missing minutes. Awaka scored a career-high 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting and grabbed three rebounds in 13 minutes.
“Everything he does, he does with a purpose,” Barnes said of Awaka. “He wants to be good. He is confident. He thinks he should have every rebound going up. He’s willing to try and get it. That’s gonna be fun. It’s fun coaching a guy like that.”
College Gameday is coming to town
Tennessee will be back in action Saturday night when it hosts No. 7 Texas (16-3) in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.
College Gameday will be broadcast live from Knoxville prior to the game between the Vols and Longhorns. ESPN’s signature Saturday morning pregame show, starring Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, LaPhonso Ellis and Seth Greenberg – will be broadcast live from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. from the Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee is the only program in the country to host College GameDay for soccer, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball.
The Vols hosted College GameDay for football twice this year and will host separate men’s and women’s basketball college shows over three days. The women’s show will be in town Thursday to rekindle the women’s basketball rivalry between Tennessee and UConn. The show begins at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time that day, followed by the game at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, and both will be broadcast by ESPN.