NEW YORK — Zakai Zeigler scored 12 points, including a key 3 late in the second half as No. 7 Tennessee held off No. 13 Maryland 56-53 Sunday in a Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational matchup.
Tennessee (9-1) led by as many as 18 points in the first half before Maryland pulled within two points in the final minutes.
Tyreke Key scored nine points and Julian Phillips had six points and 10 rebounds for the Volunteers. Tennessee began the game allowing just 51.2 points per game, third fewest in the nation.
Jahmir Young scored 18 points while Hakim Hart and Donta Scott had nine apiece for Maryland (8-2), which has lost two straight.
Tennessee shot 11 of 39 (28.2%) in the first half, but led 34-17 as the Terrapins made only 3 of 24 (12.5%), missing 20 of their final 21 shots before the break.
Down by 16 in the second half, Maryland unveiled a full-court press and forced three turnovers during a 12-0 run.
A 3-pointer by Key ended the burst, but the Terrapins scored the next five points and pulled within 48-46 on a pair of free throws by Ian Martinez. Maryland got within two again at 51-49 when Martinez hit one of two free throws, after which Ziegler hit his 3-pointer with 3:05 left.
Hart had a layup for Maryland, which then forced Tennessee into a shot clock violation. The teams combined to miss their next five shots before Hart scored a second-chance layup with 24 seconds left to cut the deficit to 55-53.
The teams traded empty trips, with Young missing a potential game-tying floater. Key made one of two foul shots with seven seconds left and Young missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Tennessee: guard Santiago Vescovi had seven points and seven rebounds in his return after missing two games with a shoulder injury. . The 17-point first half by Maryland marked the fourth time this season the Vols allowed fewer than 20 points in a half.
Maryland: It was the second straight subpar shooting game for the Terrapins, who shot 49.3% from the field during their 8-0 start but have shot just 35.5% in the last two games. . The 18-point deficit was the biggest of the season for the Terps.
Tennessee: Visiting Arizona next Saturday for the first time since 1998.
Maryland: Hosting No. 14 UCLA on Wednesday night – the Terrapins’ third game against a ranked opponent this month.