Vols put bite to Dawgs dominating Georgia, 70-41

#4 Tennessee improves to 17-3 overall and 7-1 in SEC play.
University of Tennessee basketball practice
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 11:06 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Stifling defense and balanced scoring by No. 4 Tennessee led to a fourth consecutive home victory over Georgia, as the Vols cruised to a decisive 70-41, win at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday night.

Tennessee’s defensive effort was spearheaded by Santiago Vescovi’s career-high-tying five steals, as the Vols held Georgia to just to 29.1% (16-for-55) shooting from the field.

Offensively, Zakai Ziegler led the way with 11 points and seven assists, while Tobe Awakawas became the second Vol in double figures with a career-high 10 points on 3-for-3 shooting. Overall, nine different Vols scored five or more points.

Tennessee (17-3, 7-1 SEC), which owns the best adjusted defensive efficiency in the country per KenPom, held an opponent to under 50 points for the 10th time this season, forcing Georgia (13-7, 3-4 SEC) to miss 20 of its 27 field goal attempts in the second half.

Offensively, the Vols doubled the Bulldogs in paint points, 36-18. Freshman Julian Phillips logged a career-high six assists Wednesday night, besting his previous best of four, which came in Tennessee’s win over McNeese State earlier this season. Vescovi was responsible for a team-best plus/minus rating of +29 in UT’s 29-point triumph.

Through just 20 games, Tennessee has now recorded 11 wins by 20 or more points—tied for the most in a single season in program history.

Tennessee takes a brief break from conference play to welcome Texas to town for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. ET on ESPN. ESPN College GameDay will also be live from Knoxville on Saturday, broadcasting from Thompson-Boling Arena starting at 11 a.m. ET.