Austin, TX – The Tennessee men’s basketball team’s furious late comeback fell just short Saturday night on the road, as the No. 18 Vols fell at Texas in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, 52-51.
The Vols (14-6) trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half before reeling off a 19-2 run spanning from the 6:37 mark to the 1:23 mark. Tennessee’s run came largely thanks to the efforts of Josiah-Jordan James and Zakai Zeigler on the offensive end; the duo tallied eight and seven points apiece during the run.
Austin native Victor Bailey Jr. capped off the spurt and tied the game at 51 with a tip-in layup with 1:23 remaining.
Zeigler led Tennessee in scoring with 12 points, while James added 11. Olivier Nkamhoua finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
Courtney Ramey led Texas (16-5) with 18 points.
Leading by just two at halftime, Texas stormed out of the gates in the second half to take control of the game. The Longhorns opened the second half on an 11-2 run to take a 40-27 lead at the 14:20 mark of the second half.
Tennessee made just one of its first 14 field-goal attempts to start the second half, while Texas made six of its first 10 shots of the period.
Texas extended its lead to as many as 17 at 49-32 with 7:57 remaining, which then led to Tennessee’s run.
Texas took a 27-25 lead into the halftime break, finishing the opening period on a 5-0 run in the final 13 seconds.
After Zeigler put together a quick 5-0 spurt by himself on a 3-pointer from the top of the key and a pair of free throws, Tennessee held a 25-22 lead heading into the final minute of the first half. However, the Longhorns closed the period strong with a three from Devin Askew and two free throws from Ramey.
Neither team led by more than five points in a first half that featured four lead changes. Trailing 9-4 nearly seven minutes into the game, Tennessee reeled off a 10-0 run to take its largest lead of the first half at 14-9. Texas then answered the Vols’ run with a 10-0 run of their own to take a 19-14 lead with 4:42 remaining.
Kennedy Chandler and Nkamhoua led Tennessee with six points apiece in the first half.
Next Up For UT Vols Basketball
The Tennessee men’s basketball team is back home to take on another team from the Lone Star State, hosting Texas A&M on Tuesday at 6:00pm CT on SEC Network.
Tennessee 51, Texas 52