Olivier Nkamhoua Leads Tennessee to Victory Over Texas

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Photo via Vol_Hoops on Twitter

FINAL:

Tennessee – 82

Texas – 71

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – College Gameday was in town, the energy was electric, and Rocky Top was the site for the seventh of ten SEC vs Big-12 challenge games. The Big 12 was having a great day, leading the series 4-2 with Oklahoma upsetting #2 Alabama. Texas came into Knoxville as the 10th ranked team in the country set to take on the #4 Vols in front of a packed Thompson-Boling Arena with over 21,000 fans.

It was a slow start for both teams but when they got going, they heated up quick. Josiah-Jordan James and Olivier Nkamhoua were a two-man team early for Tennessee, scoring seven and six of The Vols first 13 points. After some back and forth, both teams were tied at 17 at the 10:46 mark. Then, Tennessee went on a 9-0 run spanning over five minutes. James continued to be effective for The Vols, and Nkamhoua finished the half with 14 points including the lob dunk below.

 

Tennessee went into the locker room up 40-28 and looked very comfortable building the lead the way they had. Tennessee had Texas playing into their hands with great defense and complementary offense shooting 50% from the field.

The Vols came out on fire in the second half. At the 13-minute mark Tennessee had hit eight shots in a row, outscoring Texas 21 -11 in the half due to shooting 60% now from the field. It was a basketball clinic in Knoxville with Tennessee leading by as much as 22 points. Texas, however, was not going to go quietly and cut the lead down to 13 with ten minutes to go. Tennessee got the response they needed from, who else but, Nkamhoua with a quick basket and another highlight reel alley-oop.

 

Once again, at the 4:00 mark, Texas surged to an 11-point deficit challenging Tennessee to respond. Before The Longhorns could cut it to single digits, Nkamhoua stepped up again by drawing a huge charge call on the defensive end and perfectly executing another slam on the offensive end.

Nkamhoua had a career day and Tennessee added a top ten win to their resume defeating Texas 82-71

 

Olivier Nkhamhoua led all scorers with 27 points, while Sir’Jabari Rice led Texas with 21. Nkamhoua also led all players in rebounds with eight. Christian Bishop led The Longhorns with five. Zakai Zeigler led all players with ten assists, and Tyrese Hunter led Texas with four.

This is what Tennessee Head Coach, Rick Barnes, had to say post-game via Ben McKee of GoVols247 on Twitter:

“Rick Barnes on Olivier Nkamhoua: He was terrific. He was absolutely terrific. It started yesterday in practice. It was absolutely the best practice he’s ever had. I’m so happy for him. That was special.”

“Rick Barnes on Zakai Zeigler: What more can you say about him? He’s learning how to make his teammates better and that’s the sign of him becoming a point guard.”

Tennessee’s next game is against Florida in Gainesville at 6:00pm on Wednesday.

 

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