KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE)- No. 24 Tennessee’s hot shooting and grit propelled them past No. 13 LSU, 64-50.

Tennessee jumped out to an early lead courtesy of a Santiago Vescovi triple 30 seconds into the game. The Tigers turned the ball over on their first possession and the Vols capitalized with a Uros Plavsic layup. The big man made his second straight start and third of the season.

The Vols continued the hot shooting. Kennedy Chandler drained a deep three followed up by a Josiah-Jordan James triple. The Vols pulled ahead with a 14-0 run after Vescovi drained his second three-point shot of the game.

The Tigers finally found the basket after Darius Days made a jump shot, followed up with a layup from Efton Reid to cut LSU’s deficit, 14-4. Justin Powell came off the bench and drained a three to give Tennessee a 17-4 lead at the 12:36 mark. The Tigers strung together an 8-0 run after nailing back-to-back three-point shots followed up by a layup from Brandon Murray to make it a five-point game, 17-12.

With 8:57 left in the first half, Vescovi hit his third triple of the game to give the Vols a 20-12 lead. Then Chandler got it on the inside and finished with a layup, 22-12. The Tigers would not back down, cutting the lead to five with a 5-0 run. Vescovi answered with his fourth shot from beyond the perimeter, but the Vols hot shooting would then go cold until the final minute. LSU went on a 7-0 run to make it a one-point game, 24-25 with 1:11 left in the first half. Plavsic ended the scoring drought by attacking the rim with a dunk. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield found the basket as time expired to give the Vols a 29-24 lead at the half.

Emotions started to flare headed to the locker rooms, a double technical was awarded to both teams as they exchanged pointed words walking off the court, setting up a heated second half.

LSU opened the scoring in the second half after Eric Gains made a jump shot to make it a three-point game. But Tennessee continued its hot shooting from beyond the arc, James scored his second bucket of the game from trey range to extend the Vols lead, 32-26. Tennessee went on an 8-0 run to extend its lead over the Tigers, 37-26. LSU’s Tari Eason pulled up with a jump shot to continue to chip away at the lead, but Vescovi makes his fifth shot from beyond the arc to give the Vols a 12-point lead.

The Vols continued to cruise. With 10:46 left in the game, super-senior John Fulkerson drew a foul to give him two shots from the charity stripe. Fulkerson made both to give him six points and his 1,000th career point. The two extra points gave the Vols a 46-32 lead.

Both Tennessee and LSU combined for 12 fouls in less than five minutes as the Vols maintained their lead, 51-44. The Vols turned up the intensity. Plavisc blocked a shot and Vescovi took control breaking down the court. The sequence was finished off with Zakai Ziegler’s smooth release from beyond the perimeter to give the Vols a 56-45 lead. Ziegler took a charge and fouled out Tigers’ leading-scorer Tamari Eason with four minutes left of play.

The Vols put the game to bed with a 13-5 run to protect the home court and upset the Tigers, 64-50. The Vols have won 11 straight games at Thompson Boling Arena dating back to March 7, 2021, when they defeated Florida on Senior Day.

Tennessee shot 43.1% from the field and 35.7% from three-point range. Tennessee also won the battle on the boards, outrebounding LSU 34-32.

Vescovi led the Big Orange in scoring with 16 points on 5-11 shooting from deep. Plavsic continues to elevate his game in SEC play. The big man finished with 12 points, six rebounds, and a block after a career-high 28 minutes of work. Chandler scored 9 points and Fulkerson contributed 8 points.

With the win, Tennessee improves to 13-5 on the season and 4-3 in conference play.