KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — No. 4 Tennessee found a maintainable lead over No. 10 Texas midway through the first half and never looked back in route to a 82-71 victory.
Olivier Nkamhoua was a weapon Texas didn’t know what to do with. The Vols senior found the 20-point mark early in the second half, coming away with a career-high 27 points against the Longhorns.
The Tennessee defense was in typical fashion, holding Marcus Carr, the Longhorns’ lead scorer, to zero points in the first half.
After some back and forth action early, Tennessee’s lead was helped by a 9-0 run that saw Texas miss nine straight baskets until Longhorns’ Christian Bishop landed one in the last five minutes before the break.
Heading to the locker room the Vols were up 40-28, marking the fourth straight game they’ve held their opponent to 28 points or less in the first half.
Texas found some energy at the halfway point of the second half, launching themselves on a 11-2 run that closed the gap to 13 points. Despite the renewed fire from the Longhorns, the Vols couldn’t be matched, Tennessee securing the top-10 victory.
The Tennessee win is the first time Rick Barnes has beat Texas since serving as the Longhorns’ head coach for 17 seasons.
Zakai Zeigler hit 22 points and 10 assists, good for his third double-double of the season.