TAMPA (WATE) — The Vols took home its first SEC Tournament title since 1979 thanks to a solid effort on the defensive end. Tennessee held Texas A&M to a 31 percent shooting rate on its way to a 65-50 win over the Aggies.
UT was off to a hot start, opening the game on a 14-0 run including six points from Josiah-Jordan James.
The Aggies switched to a 2-3 zone, which helped them weather the storm. Texas A&M went on an 8-0 to cut into the lead.
The Vols attacked the middle of the zone with John Fulkerson, who scored five straight points, and brought their lead back up to double-digits.
Offense was hard to come by in the first half. Texas A&M shot 27 percent, while Tennessee shot 35 percent. UT held a 29-20 lead at the break.
Tennessee continued to control the game early in the second half. Santiago Vescovi sent the crowd into a frenzy with a corner 3-pointer. UT was in control up 43-29.
The lead continued to crescendo. The arena went next level on a John Fulkerson monster dunk that gave UT a 16 point lead, its largest of the game at the 5:46 mark.
The Vols shot 39 percent from the field, 43% from beyond the perimeter to earn the program’s fifth SEC Tournament Championship and first in over four decades.