KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — There’s no better way to start out Southeastern Conference play than with a down-to-the-wire fight, this one going in the Vols’ favor, 63-59.

The first half proved difficult for the Vols, trailing at the break, 34-28, the only time the Vols have been down at the half all season.

Tennessee had an extra energy edge over Ole Mississippi to start off the second half, the Rebels shooting percentage taking a hit out of the locker room after leading by as many as 10 points in the first.

Olivier Nkamhoua found himself in major foul trouble, his fifth off the night is a critical offensive foul that gave the Rebels the ball back with less than a minute left and only a two-point Tennessee lead. With that foul, Nkamhoua fouled out for the game.

Jonas Aidoo was a rebounding machine, playing a pivotal role on defense he found a game-high 13 rebounds.

On the scoring front, it was Santiago Vescovi that impressed, recording a season-best 22 points, one point short of his career-high.