National Basketball Association
Tennessee 80, Tennessee Tech 69
When: 3:00 PM ET, Friday, November 26, 2021
Where: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
Officials: # Brian Shey, # Rob Rorke, # John Hampton
Attendance: 16909

Reserve Brandon Huntley-Hatfield had eight of his 12 points in a momentum-changing run that put No. 15 Tennessee ahead for good as it held off the upset bid of Tennessee Tech and went on to an 80-69 victory Friday in Knoxville, Tenn.

Olivier Nkamhoua scored 18 points on 8-for-8 shooting, Kennedy Chandler had 15 and John Fulkerson had 14 for the Volunteers (4-1). Santiago Vescovi added 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Jr. Clay led Tennessee Tech (2-4) with 19 points.

Huntley-Hatfield, who entered the game averaging 4.5 points, had the last two baskets in a 16-4 run that put the Vols ahead 58-49 with 9:17 left in the game.

The short-handed Vols were without Josiah-Jordan James, an ace defender who missed a second straight game for because of a finger injury and flu-like symptoms. Teammate Justin Powell also sat out with flu-like symptoms.

The Vols eventually stretched their lead to 14 points in the final minutes but never turned it into a blowout as they had in the previous two meetings, a 103-49 victory last season and a 96-53 win in December 2018.

The first half was typified by the final few possessions. After Tennessee finally established a 34-28 lead on back-to-back baskets by Fulkerson in the paint, both on assists by Vescovi, the Golden Eagles concluded the half with a 7-0 run for a 35-34 advantage at intermission.

Worst of all, Tennessee coach Rick Barnes called a timeout with 17 seconds left to set up a play for his team's final possession of the half, figuring the Vols could do no worse than go into the locker room with a 34-32 lead. But Chandler turned the ball over and Clay cashed in with a 3-pointer with one second left to send the Golden Eagles in with a halftime lead.

Tennessee's fortunes didn't improve immediately after halftime, either. Clay's fast-break layup after a miss by Fulkerson put the Golden Eagles ahead, 45-42, 3:03 into the second half, marking their biggest lead of the game before the Vols finally restored order.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Tennessee Tech   Tennessee
Jr. Clay 19 Scoring Olivier Nkamhoua 18
Keishawn Davidson 4 Assists Santiago Vescovi 7
Amadou Sylla 9 Rebounds Santiago Vescovi 7
Jr. Clay 2 Free Throws Made John Fulkerson 4
Jr. Clay 2 Steals Kennedy Chandler 5
Mamoudou Diarra 1 Blocks Brandon Huntley-Hatfield 2
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Tennessee Tech 69 47.3 6-14 11-16 15 27 3 7 19
Tennessee 80 50.8 6-23 10-10 21 29 5 11 12