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Tennessee falls to LSU in top-25 matchup, 79-67

The Vols second-half comeback attempt fell short in Saturday's meeting of top-ranked defensive teams.
Credit: AP
Tennessee forward Olivier Nkamhoua (13) shoots against LSU forward Alex Fudge (3) and guard Justice Williams (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU fans that sold out the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana chanted “overrated” at Tennessee, as the 21st-ranked Tigers beat the 18th-ranked Vols, 79-67, on Saturday evening.  

The loss drops UT’s record to 10-4 overall and 1-2 in SEC play. Tennessee is now 0-4 in Baton Rouge under Rick Barnes.

Tennessee opened the matchup on a 9-3 run. Then, LSU scored 21 of the game’s next 27 points. The Tigers finished the first half shooting 53% and took a 42-35 lead into halftime. 

The Vols began to fall further behind in the second half. LSU used an 11-0 run to take a 20-point lead, early in the period. The Tigers held a double-digit lead until the 4:40 mark. That’s when a pair of Kennedy Chandler free throws lessened Tennessee’s deficit to nine points. After drawing a foul on a three-point attempt, Chandler made another free throw to make it an eight-point game with 3:29 to go. 

Santiago Vescovi knocked down a three to bring Tennessee’s deficit to five. However, LSU made a layup and emphatic dunk to re-extend the lead back to nine. 

Tennessee returns to Knoxville to play South Carolina on Jan. 11 at Thomspon-Boling Arena.