Wyandanch native Zakai Zeigler scored 13 points off the bench and No. 13 Tennessee held off a late surge from No. 14 Arkansas on Saturday to remain undefeated at home this season.
Zeigler played 29 minutes, chipping in six assists, five rebounds and a steal in the Vols’ 78-74 win in Knoxsville. He sank a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining to secure Tennessee’s victory.
The true freshman was playing a week after a fire destroyed his family’s Queens home and temporarily left his mother and young nephew with special needs homeless.
A GoFundMe page approved by Tennessee athletics has raised more the $363,000 for Zeigler’s family. Any contributions that go above the costs related to the fire will be donated to charity, Zeigler said.
Here is Zeigler on the attack in the first half.
Tennessee, 16-0 at home, is now 23-7 overall. At 14-4, they are in second place in the Southeast Conference, sitting one game behind Auburn (15-3). The SEC has five teams ranked in the Top 25 in the country.
Zeigler received a loud ovation from the Tennessee crowd when he initially came into the game. He had during the week expressed gratitude for the generosity in wake of his family’s tragedy.
Top photo: Tennessee guard Zakai Zeigler (5) reacts after hitting a 3-point basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Auburn, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)