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Three Quick Takeaways: Texas Tech Wins A Rock Fight

Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee dropped its second game of the 2021-22 season Tuesday night, falling to Texas Tech in a horrible offensive basketball game. The Red Raiders earned their first win over a power five team with a 57-52 overtime  victory at Madison Square Garden.

Here are three quick takeaways.

A Dreadful Offensive Game

Texas Tech is a really unique and challenging defense to face. The Red Raiders starters are all between 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8 and the athletic forwards switch every screen.

That’s why Texas Tech has a top 20 KenPom defense and it gave Tennessee major issues Tuesday night. Nothing was easy for Tennessee’s offense and the Vols didn’t make the three-point shots that Texas Tech’s defense can give up.

However, the story of the game was Tennessee’s horrific three-point shooting. Vols shot six-of-40 from three-point range including an zero-of-six start. UT simply could not get triples to go down and never shied off taking them.

Santiago Vescovi ended up with a wide open look from three-point range that would have won the game for Tennessee in the final seconds of regulation.

The Vols struggled at the free throw line as well, making just eight-of-16 atttempts.

Tennessee posted a horrific 0.685 points per possession and struggled getting an easy baskets, scoring just 13 points in transition.

Texas Tech wasn’t much better on the other end. The Red Raiders shot 31% from the field, 17% from three-point range and 60% from the free throw line. Tennessee’s defense made life hard on Texas Tech, especially at the basket where the Vols blocked eight shots.

Zeigler Provides A Spark

Tennessee freshman point guard Zakai Zeigler is good playing close to home. The New York City native introduced himself to the world with his 18-point performance in Tennessee’s win over North Carolina in Uncasville, Connecticut.

He came closer to home to do it this time, scoring nine points at Madison Square Garden.

Ziegler was one of Tennessee’s only productive offensive players, finding ways to get to the basket, making one of Tennessee’s six threes and making an absurd midrange shot as the shot clock expired.

The freshman carried Tennessee at points in the Jimmy V Classic including scoring six of the Vols final eight point in the first half as the offense faltered badly.

Zeigler impressively didn’t turn it over just once in 26 minutes of play.

On a night where Tennessee’s offense struggled mightily, Zeigler provided a bit of a spark.

Red Raiders Control Defensive Glass

As Tennessee shot three-pointer after three-pointer in the second — the Vols made two-of-21 attempts — the Red Raiders were excellent on the defensive glass.

Tennessee grabbed just 10 offensive rebounds in the game and three came late in overtime when the game was in hand. The Vols grabbed only three offensive rebounds in the second half and had just two second chance points.

That cut down a potential source of Tennessee offense and made it extremely three-point reliant. The Vols inability to consistently get open looks inside the arch combined with the inability to steal extra looks on the glass proved costly.

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