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Kohl Center - Madison, WI

No. 9 Vols never trail in victory over Wisconsin

105 days ago
Tennessee Athletics
Photo: Tennessee Athletics

MADISON, Wis. - The University of Tennessee men's basketball team took down Wisconsin, 80-70, on its home court Friday night at a sold-out Kohl Center.

Led by a game-high 24 points from fifth-year guard Dalton Knecht, giving him 1,000 in his DI career, No. 9/10 Tennessee (2-0) notched its first true road win over a Big Ten school in program history school and never trailed in the contest.

Behind a strong start from the field, Tennessee took a 19-11 lead with 12:41 on the clock, but Wisconsin (1-1) quickly answered and tied it at 21 with 9:01 to go in the frame. The two sides traded the next 20 points, after which the Volunteers went on a 10-2 run in just 2:15 to go back up by eight, 41-33, with 1:46 to go before the break.

The lead remained at eight, 43-35, when the teams entered the locker rooms. The Volunteers shot 55.6 percent from both the field (15-of-27) and from 3-point range (5-of-9) through 20 minutes, while notching an 88.9 percent (8-of-9) clip at the line.

Tennessee's lead remained eight, 51-43, with under 15 minutes to go, but the Badgers trimmed it to one, 54-53, with 11:45 to go. Shortly thereafter, the Volunteers regained control with a 10-3 run and extended its edge back to eight, 64-56, with 6:49 remaining.

The visitors took a double-digit advantage, 68-58, for the first time with 4:45 to go, as a layup by junior forward Jonas Aidoo capped a 9-2 surge. Wisconsin twice got back within six, but never trimmed the deficit any further, as Tennessee twice upped the lead back to 10 and came away with a decision by exactly that margin.

Knecht scored his 24 points on an 8-of-15 ledger from the field and a 7-of-9 tally at the stripe, while adding five rebounds. Fellow fifth-year guard Josiah-Jordan James logged 14 points and six boards, while junior guard Jordan Gainey and junior forward Jonas Aidoo each had 10 points in the win, the latter adding a team-best seven rebounds.

Sophomore guard A.J. Storr paced Wisconsin with 17 points, but Tennessee held him to 7-of-20 shooting, including a 2-of-9 mark after halftime. Junior forward Steven Crowl posted 14 points and led all players with nine points, while junior guard Chucky Hepburn added 13 points. Graduate student forward Tyler Wahl finished with 10 points and eight rebounds in the setback.

Tennessee ended the night making exactly half its shots, going 28-of-56 from the floor, while also recording an 82.6 percent (19-of-23) figure at the stripe. The Volunteers totaled a 23-8 edge in bench points and held Wisconsin to 41.0 percent (25-of-61) shooting.

Tennessee is back in action Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Food City Center in Knoxville, Tenn., where it hosts Wofford, live on SEC Network+.

To keep up with the University of Tennessee men's basketball team on social media, follow @Vol_Hoops on Instagram and X/Twitter, as well as /tennesseebasketball on Facebook.

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS POSTGAME NOTES • Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes now owns 781 victories in his career, tying Lute Olson for No. 16 on the all-time wins list (min. five years at a Division I school). • The Volunteers are now 5-4 in road openers under Barnes, including 5-2 in the past seven seasons.
• Tennessee snapped a three-game losing skid against Wisconsin and evened the all-time series, which dates back to 1981, at 3-3.
• Tennessee's lone prior true road win over a current Big Ten school came on Nov. 19, 1992, versus Rutgers, prior to the Scarlet Knights joining the league.
• Tennessee got in early foul trouble, as it committed five fouls in the first six minutes and eight in the opening 10-and-a-half minutes, while Wisconsin committed zero and three, respectively.
• The Volunteers started the game by making nine of their first 15 field-goal attempts, good for a 60.0 percent clip.
• Including its two exhibition games, Tennessee has led for 154:47 of a possible 160 minutes and has not trailed for a single second.
• Tennessee became the first AP top-10 team ever to play on the road at Wisconsin in the month of November.
• The Volunteers held Wisconsin under 42 percent shooting in both halves: 40.6 percent (13-of-32) before the break and 41.4 percent (12-of-29) after it.

• Knecht totaled 14 points in the first 16 minutes of competition, beginning the game 4-of-5 from the field and 5-of-6 on free throws.
• Knecht needed just 69 games to reach exactly 1,000 points in his DI career, an average of 14.5 per contest.