Vols Take Down Creighton to Claim Second Elite Eight Berth

Vols Take Down Creighton to Claim Second Elite Eight Berth

DETROIT – The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team defeated No. 11-ranked, third-seeded Creighton, 82-75, Friday night at Little Caesars Arena to earn the second Elite Eight appearance in program history.

Fifth-year guard Dalton Knecht scored a game-high 26 points for sixth-ranked, second-seeded Tennessee (27-8, 14-4 SEC), which played without five-year starter Santiago Vescovi (flu) in the victory.

In addition to scoring 26 points, his 12th time with 25-plus this season, Knecht pulled down six rebounds, dished out five assists, notched two steals and blocked one shot. The Thornton, Colo., native became the 12th Division I player, including only the second from the SEC, ever to post that line in an NCAA Tournament contest. He went 3-of-7 on 3-pointers and 7-of-8 at the line in the win.

Junior guard Zakai Zeigler scored 18 points and led all players with six assists, breaking the Tennessee record for career assists in NCAA Tournament play in the process. He played all 40 minutes for the second straight game and committed just one turnover, while shooting 3-of-6 from long range.

Fifth-year guard Josiah-Jordan James tallied 15 points, finishing 4-of-6 from the field, 3-of-5 beyond the arc and a perfect 4-of-4 at the line. Junior guard Jahmai Mashack, who started in place of Vescovi, led all players with a co-career-best eight rebounds, snatching a career-high-tying five at the offensive end.

Baylor Scheierman scored 25 points to pace the Bluejays, shooting 8-of-19 from the floor, 4-of-9 on 3-pointers and an unblemished 5-of-5 on free throws. Fellow senior guard Steven Ashworth totaled 16 points, going 6-of-9 overall, including 4-of-6 from deep.

Senior center Ryan Kalkbrenner notched 14 points and a co-team-high seven rebounds for Creighton, matching junior guard Trey Alexander, who scored 13 points, in the latter category. The Volunteers held Alexander to 3-of-12 shooting from the field, including to five points on a 1-of-10 clip until the final minute.

Source: UT Sports

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