Zakai Zeigler scored 18 points in a reserve role as No. 17 Tennessee beat No. 18 North Carolina 89-72 Sunday in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off’s consolation game at Uncasville, Conn.
Santiago Vescovi added 17 points, Kennedy Chandler 14 and John Fulkerson 13 as the Volunteers (3-1) recovered from a loss to Villanova from a day earlier.
It was Tennessee’s first victory against North Carolina since 1949.
Brady Manek came off the bench to lead North Carolina (3-2) with 24 points. Armando Bacot added 16 points and 12 rebounds, RJ Davis supplied 14 points and Caleb Love had 12.
The Volunteers built a 15-point lead early in the second half, making nine of their first 10 shots from the field after halftime. Love’s 3 cut the gap to 63-54 before the spread was back to 72-57 by the eight-minute mark.
Zeigler scored eight points in a span of slightly more than two minutes, and the Tennessee lead ballooned to 82-62.
Tennessee led 39-32 at halftime despite taking only two free throws. A day earlier, North Carolina was without a first-half attempt from the free-throw line, but Sunday the Tar Heels were 8-for-10 by halftime.
Manek hit consecutive 3s to help the Tar Heels rally from a nine-point hole. Fulkerson scored four of the Volunteers’ last six points before the break.
Tennessee had 12 assists on 17 first-half baskets, while North Carolina was charted with just three assists. The Tar Heels committed nine turnovers in the first half.
This marked the fourth game in a row that North Carolina trailed at the half, though this was its largest halftime deficit.
Leaky Black was back in North Carolina’s starting lineup after missing Saturday’s game because of illness.
North Carolina was coming off a 93-84 loss to No. 6 Purdue, which defeated No. 5 Villanova 80-74 in the title game on Sunday.
That game was played before the consolation matchup.
–Field Level Media
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