Zeigler, No. No. 13 Tennessee defeats No. 13 Tennessee holds off No.

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No. 13 Tennessee appeared fully prepared for the SEC Tournament. Things got more difficult after that.

Zakai Zeigler, a freshman guard, was homeless last weekend after a fire in New York City. He made two crucial free throws in final seconds to help No. 14 Arkansas 78-74 Saturday.

The Volunteers (23-7 Southeastern Conference, 14-4 Southeastern Conference), which led by 24 points at the half-way mark, won the No. The 2nd seed in the SEC tourney. Tennessee reached the final 6 minutes without a basket, but still managed to finish this season with a 16-0 record at home.

Rick Barnes, Tennessee coach, said that “this league has been brutal.” Every night it’s a struggle. We can’t continue to throw lifelines out there.”

Zeigler ended with 13 points. With 14 seconds remaining, his foul shot made it 77-74. With 10 seconds remaining, Arkansas’ JD Notee had made an open 3-pointer. Zeigler made a free shot to seal it.

Zeigler’s family had several members who lived in the apartment that was set on fire. The university set up a GoFundMe campaign for the family, raising over $350,000.

Zeigler received a loud ovation when he entered the game for the first-time and raised his arms to acknowledge the cheers.

Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi both scored 15 points, while Josiah Jordan James got 12 for Tennessee.

Notae scored 15 points of his 20 in the second period for the Razorbacks (24.7-7, 13-5). Chris Lykes and Stanley Ummude both had 15.

Arkansas was without injured guard Au’Diese Toney. Eric Musselman, Arkansas coach, said that Toney won’t likely play until the NCAA Tournament.

He said, “When you’re down, it’s difficult to make up.” Musselman stated, “He would’ve helped today.”

Arkansas trailed 21 at halftime. Arkansas rallied and was within two digits when Notae’s 3 pointer with 4 minutes remaining made it 73-65.

Ummude then followed with a 3 pointer, while Notae’s free throws at 2:05 left cut the score to 73-70.

Notae added two foul shots with 56 seconds remaining to bring the Razorbacks to within 74-72. Vescovi and Notae both made two free throws to keep the game close.

Barnes stated that Arkansas became more physical and aggressive in the second half. They presented many problems. “We’ll learn from our failures.”

Barnes was impressed by the 75% shooting rate of his team in the first half.

He said, “Winning is difficult.” “But it’s much easier to shoot the ball like this.”

In the first half, Tennessee scored 50 more points than Arkansas did two weeks ago in a 58 to 48 loss. The largest lead for the Volunteers was 44-20.

BIG PICTURE

Arkansas: The Razorbacks started 0-3 in SEC. They were not a serious contender. Arkansas is now legitimate, having secured a double-bye at the SEC Tournament next week. In the last two minutes of the game, officials had three video reviewers.

Tennessee: Zeigler entered the game having made 55 out of 61 free throws in SEC games (.902) to lead the league. In this game, he went 3 for 6. Arkansas was the 10th Vols team to face this season.

Next Up

In Tampa, Florida, the quarterfinal round will see Tennessee and Arkansas play each other.

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