STARKVILLE, Miss – No. 9 Tennessee will be without senior guards Santiago Vescovi and Tyreke Key for Tuesday night’s game in the state of Mississippi. Key is out due to illness and Vescovi is out with a left shoulder injury.
On Saturday against Kentucky, Vescovi appeared to be aggravating 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 and starts 15 times in 17 games this season.
Vescovi never left the game in Kentucky on Saturday and played a team-high for 32 minutes. He scored 13 points and went 4-for-13 off 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) defeated Mississippi State (12-5, 1-4) 87-53 on Jan. 3 at the 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 winning streak in Saturday’s 63-56 loss to Kentucky in Knoxville. The Vols got 19 points from Plavsic, who ran 9-to-11, and 13 points from Vescovi. But Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James went 2-on-12 together from the 3-point line and Tennessee was only 3-on-21 as a team from the arc. Kentucky overtook Tennessee 43-23 and dropped the Vols to 0-3 as there was an outrebound this season.
The Vols are back on the road at LSU on Saturday, with a 4 p.m. ET start on ESPN at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Tennessee at Mississippi State: How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Tipoff time: 7 p.m. ET, Tuesday
Location: Humphrey Coliseum
Stream: ESPN App or WatchESPN.com
Radio: WNML-FM 99.1 in Knoxville. The Vol Network radio show (Bob Kesling – Play-by-Play – Bert Bertelkamp, Analyst) can be heard on local affiliates throughout the state of Tennessee.
A closer look at the state of Mississippi
The Vols defeated Mississippi State 87-53 in Knoxville two weeks ago, started the game on a 16-0 run and never looked back. Santiago Vescovi scored 14 points to lead five Tennessee players by double digits.
Zakai Zeigler had 11 points and 10 rebounds in his first double-double of his career, Julian Phillips had 11 points and seven rebounds, and Olivier Nkamhoua and Uros Plavsic each had 10 points and went 10-10 together from the field.
In the win, Tennessee shot 69.2 percent from the field, walked 36 from 52 and 57.1 percent from the 3-point line, and went 12-to-21.
Mississippi State started the season 0-11 but lost five of the last six and fell to 4-1 in the SEC game. The skid began on neutral ground against Drake on December 20 and continued in Alabama on December 28.
After losing in Tennessee, Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 64-54 in Starkville on January 7 but has since lost back-to-back road games in Georgia (58-50) and Auburn (69-63).