KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Jonas Aidoo scored 24 points and had 10 rebounds to lead No. 5 Tennessee to a 90-64 victory over No. 22 Mississippi on Saturday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.

Zakai Zeigler contributed 17 points and 10 assists for the Volunteers (11-3, 1-0 Southeastern Conference). Santiago Vescovi added 11 points and Jahmai Mashack scored 10 as Tennessee won for the seventh straight time.

Aidoo was limited to a season-low 11 minutes of action Tuesday against Norfolk State while he nursed a strained calf.

“I had a long talk with Jonas after practice the other day,” said Tennessee coach Rick Barnes. “I said, ‘You’re so much better than you're playing. I have really high expectations for you.'”

“It's great to get a compliment (from Barnes),” said Aidoo. “He's a hard coach. He wants us to be the best we can be.”

Jaemyn Brakefield scored 22 points as Mississippi (13-1, 0-1) had its season-long winning streak snapped. Jaylen Murray added 11 points and Allen Flanigan had 10 for the Rebels.

“We got kicked today,” said Mississippi coach Chris Beard. “Our whole organization got kicked. Those are some grown men (in the Tennessee locker room).”

Aidoo scored 12 points in the first half to lead the Vols to a 40-31 lead at intermission. Tennessee hit just one of their first 12 3-point attempts but finished 5 of 16. Mashack hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send Tennessee to the locker room with momentum. They went 9 of 18 from 3-point range after the sluggish start.

“We were missing shots early, but I like that we were still taking them,” Barnes said. “You talk about confidence that those shots are going to fall.”

Tennessee finished the game with 19 offensive rebounds and 22 second-chance points.

“The first half, we let a 3-point shooter get away at the buzzer,” Beard said. “The second half was a different side of the coin. They were more physical and more competitive.”


Mississippi: After having its 13-game winning streak snapped, the Rebels must regroup to get back on track. They are averaging more than 77 points a game, their best offensive production in seven years. Tennessee’s lock-down defense was a problem for Mississippi.

Tennessee: The primary focus for coach Rick Barnes all season has been consistency. With a veteran core unit, finding consistent performance on both ends of the floor may be easier to achieve this season than it has been in the past.


Mississippi: Opens its SEC home schedule against Florida on Wednesday.

Tennessee: Visits Mississippi State on Wednesday.


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