No. 9 Tennessee missing two players due to injury at Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 9 Tennessee will be without senior guards Santiago Vescovi and Tyreke Key for Tuesday night’s game at Mississippi State. Key is out due to illness and Vescovi is out with a left shoulder injury.
On Saturday against Kentucky Vescovi appeared to aggravate a left shoulder sprain that caused him to miss two games in December. He leads Tennessee in scoring, averaging 12.9 points per game. He averages 4.1 rebounds and has 48 assists in 15 games, averaging 31.7 minutes per game.
Key averages 9.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 25.9 minutes per game, starting 15 times in 17 games this season.
Vescovi never left the Kentucky game on Saturday, playing a team-high 32 minutes. He scored 13 points, going 4-for-13 from the field, 1-for-6 from the 3-point line and 4-for-5 at the foul line.
The Vols (14-3, 4-1 SEC) won 87-53 against Mississippi State (12-5, 1-4) on January 3 at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville. The Bulldogs are 1-5 over their last six after starting the season 11-0.
Tennessee saw its 25-game home win streak snapped in the 63-56 loss to Kentucky on Saturday in Knoxville. The Vols got 19 points from Plavsic, who was 9-for-11 from the field, and 13 points from Vescovi. But Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James combined to go 2-for-12 from the 3-point line and Tennessee was just 3-for-21 as a team from the arc. Kentucky outrebounded Tennessee 43-23, dropping the Vols to 0-3 when getting outrebounded this season.
The Vols are back on the road Saturday at LSU, in a 4 p.m. ET start on ESPN inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Tennessee at Mississippi State: How to watch, stream, listen
Tipoff Time: 7 p.m. ET, Tuesday
Location: Humphrey Coliseum
Streaming: ESPN App or WatchESPN.com
Radio: WNML-FM 99.1 in Knoxville. The Vol Network radio broadcast (Bob Kesling – play-by-play – Bert Bertelkamp, analyst) can be heard on local affiliates across the state of Tennessee.
A closer look at Mississippi State
The Vols beat Mississippi State 87-53 in Knoxville two weeks ago, starting the game on a 16-0 run and never looking back. Santiago Vescovi scored 14 points to lead five Tennessee players in double-figures.
Zakai Zeigler had 11 points and 10 rebounds in his first career double-double, Julian Phillips had 11 points and seven rebounds and Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic scored 10 each, going a combined 10-for-10 from the field.
In the win Tennessee shot 69.2 percent from the field, going 36 of 52, and 57.1 percent from the 3-point line, going 12-for-21.
Mississippi State started the season 11-0 but has lost five of the last six, dropping to 1-4 in SEC play. The skid started on a neutral floor against Drake on December 20 and continued at Alabama on December 28.
After the loss at Tennessee, Mississippi State beat Ole Miss on January 7, 64-54 in Starkville, but has since dropped back-to-back road games at Georgia (58-50) and at Auburn (69-63).