#22 Ohio State Hangs On To Huge Road Win Over #15 Illinois
Tennessee flipped the script on Auburn Saturday, ending its six-game losing streak against the third-ranked Tigers with a dominant second half.
The Vols trailed by 11 points early in the second half before unleashing an extended 17-2 run to reclaim the lead.
“I thought we got more aggressive defensively,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said. “I thought Zakai (Zeigler) coming in and his ball pressure was a big part of that happening. I do think it took our guys a little bit of time to get used to their length out there, when to go and how quickly they are about to play to the rim. We had three turnovers and they ended up with 15. In the first half when we did have a little bit of a lead and we had two blunders that you can’t have, turnovers and going out of bounds. It really flipped the game a little bit. The more aggressive we got defensively, the better we became on the offensive end.”
Tennessee’s interior play was the story of the game. The Vols forced Walker Kessler into one of his worst games in a month, and dominated the Tigers on the glass, 54-31.
“We talk about it every game,” Barnes said of rebounding. “We have to do that. You have to do it. Plain and simple. We will havegreat block-outs and all that but sometimes it’s a matter of wanting to get the basketball. Tonight, we had a lot of guys with that effort, trying to get their hands on it and make things happen. I hope we cancontinue to build on it.”
Barnes also discusses the Vols’ home court advantage, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield’s big game and more.