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No. 13 Tennessee looks to stay in SEC mix, takes on Georgia

No. 13 Tennessee will look to remain in contention for the Southeastern Conference's regular-season title when it visits Georgia on Tuesday evening in Athens, Ga.

The Volunteers (21-7, 12-4) are coming off a 67-62 home win over then-No. 3 Auburn on Saturday. Tennessee rallied from an 11-point deficit to pull within a game of the first-place Tigers in the SEC. The Vols are tied with seventh-ranked Kentucky and No. 14 Arkansas for second place in the conference.

Georgia is heading in the opposite direction. The Bulldogs (6-23, 1-15) set a record for the most losses in school history after dropping an 84-72 decision to visiting Florida on Saturday.

The Volunteers have defeated the Bulldogs in three of the past four meetings between the teams. Tennessee, however, has lost six straight in Athens dating to 2011.

The Bulldogs have lost nine in a row since posting an 82-76 win over Alabama on Jan. 25.

Tennessee turned in one of its top performances of the season en route to its seventh win in the last eight games. It also was the Vols' first win over the Tigers in seven tries.

Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi, who each average a team-high 13.6 points per game, came up big against Auburn.

Chandler scored 13 points, including a floater in the lane with 35 seconds left. Vescovi recorded nine of his 14 points in the final seven minutes, and Zakai Zeigler chipped in 13 points and three steals.

Auburn led 39-28 early in the second half before the Vols used a 17-2 burst to seize the advantage for good. Brandon Huntley-Hatfield started the run with a 3-pointer, and Chandler finished it with back-to-back layups. Zeigler added a 3-pointer during the run, which gave the Vols a 45-41 advantage with 7:38 remaining.

The Volunteers outrebounded Auburn 54-31, with Josiah-Jordan James and John Fulkerson each recording nine rebounds and Huntley-Hatfield eight.

"We've got to do that. We've got to do it, plain and simple," Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said of his team's rebounding. "Sometimes it's great block-outs and things like that. 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 just hope we can continue to build on it."

Georgia trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half against the Gators, who shot 45.2 percent (14-for-31) from 3-point range.

"It's disheartening; I feel for these guys in so many ways," Bulldogs coach Tom Crean said. "Our crowd was great. I feel for them. ... We just could not get both ends put together in a consistent way."

Kario Oquendo, who averages a team-high 15.3 points per game, scored 20 to lead Georgia, which clinched last place in the standings and the 14th seed at the conference tournament on March 9 in Tampa, Fla.

Braelen Bridges had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Aaron Cook chipped in 10 points and four assists against the Gators.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 28, 2022

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