Number 7 Vols Rally to Top Number 1 Gonzaga 76-73

A finish for the ages ended in Tennessee’s favor, as the seventh-ranked Vols rallied to beat top-ranked and previously unbeaten Gonzaga, 76-73, in the Jerry Colangelo Classic at Talking Stick Resort Arena Sunday.

Tennessee’s Admiral Schofield, who finished with a career-high 30 points, buried a pair of 3-pointers from NBA range as part of an 11-5 run over the final 3:17 of play. The senior wing scored all 11 points during the run, knocking down three of his career-high six treys.

Tennessee (7-1) handed the Bulldogs (9-1) their first loss of the season in the nail-biter, marking UT’s fifth all-time win against the nation’s No. 1 team. Tennessee’ defense stepped up to hold one of the nation’s best offenses to no field goals during the final 4:16 of the game.

The Volunteers took a one-point lead into halftime, but the Zags jumped ahead within the first minute of the second half and held on to the their lead until 1:20 left on the clock. Gonzaga pulled ahead by as many as nine points before UT started chipping away at the lead.

After scoring just five points in the first half, Schofield erupted after halftime to score 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting with five threes. None were bigger than a deep ball that banked off the glass with 1:20 remaining to give the Vols a two-point lead. His swish from beyond the arc on the following possession broke a 73-73 deadlock and ultimately stood as the difference in the game.

The Zags had two looks during the final 24 seconds to tie the game but both were off line, including an attempt by Rui Hachimura, who finished with 21 points and eight rebounds for Gonzaga.

Grant Williams posted another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds to go along with seven assists. Jordan Bowden was the other Vol to finish with double-digit scoring, tallying 11 points behind three treys in the second half.

The first half was a game of momentum shifts. The Vols started things off with a 7-0 run before jumping out to a 17-8 lead behind 8-of-13 shooting. Tennessee’s offense would go cold, though, hitting just four of its final 20 shots in the half.

During the drought, Gonzaga’s high-scoring offense caught fire for an 11-of-17 shooting stretch to take a 33-27 lead with 3:22 left in the frame. However, UT finished the half strong with a 7-0 run to take a 34-33 advantage into the break.

Williams paced the Big Orange in the period with 12 points and seven boards, while Yves Pons chipped in seven points and three rebounds.

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Source: University of Tennessee Athletics

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