KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Maintaining control throughout, No. 10 Tennessee knocked off No. 1 Alabama, delivering the Crimson Tide their first conference loss.
Tennessee’s Josiah-Jordan James and Julian Phillips were both out for the top-10 matchup.
Alabama’s turnovers left an opportunity for the Vols to seize the first half. Out of the Vols’ first 15 points, 10 were found off Tide turnovers leaving Alabama with 12 turnovers in the first 16 minutes of the contest.
The Tennessee defense was outstanding the first. Aside from forcing turnovers, the Vols kept Alabama to just 21 shots compared to their own 37.
Alabama put themselves on an 11-3 run as the first half came to a close, the Vols unable to connect from the field for over four minutes before the break.
Despite sending up nearly half as many field goals as Tennessee, consistency allowed the Tide to tie up at 29 at halftime, shooting over 13 percent better from the field than the Vols.
The Vols found their first nine-point lead of the night with under six minutes remaining, 56-47.
As the second half unfolded, the Vols’ accuracy from the field went up as Alabama dropped, allowing Tennessee to maintain an edge without the turnover advantage Tennessee capitalized on in the first.
Tennessee only trailed for 1:25 of the entire contest, an impressive performance that left Tennessee with a 68-59 victory.
Sporting his second-ever career start, Jonas Aidoo brought in the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
In addition to their relentless defense, four Vols secured double-digit scoring efforts, Zakai Zeigler and Santiago Vescovi each led the charge with 15.
Alabama was held to their lowest point total of the year, their previous set at 65 against South Alabama.