Dalton Knecht scores 18 to lead No. 7 Tennessee past Wofford 82-61
Wed, Nov 15, 2023
NCAAB News (AP)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Dalton Knecht scored 18 points to lead No. 7 Tennessee to an 82-61 victory over Wofford on Tuesday night.
The Northern Colorado transfer scored all but four of his points in the second half, helping the Volunteers (3-0) pull away after leading by just five at halftime. Jordan Gainey scored 16 points and Santiago Vescovi added 11 for Tennessee.
The Volunteers were outrebounded by the much smaller Terriers 19-17 in the first half and finished the game with a 37-34 edge.
"(Wofford) had a good game plan," Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. "They kept it tight and were always in good rebounding position."
"We put up shots and crashed (the boards)," said Wofford big man Kyler Flewich, who had eight rebounds. "On defense, we held our own."
Corey Tripp scored 19 points for Wofford (2-1). Chase Cormier added 15 and Jackson Sivills had 10.
"We made (the Vols) work for their shots," Wofford coach Dwight Perry said. "We couldn't stop every option. It took a lot of mental resolve to stick to our game plan."
Gainey had three 3-pointers and 11 points at the half as Tennessee led 36-31 at halftime.
"Jordan Gainey did a terrific job giving us a spark (off the bench)," Barnes said of the transfer from South Carolina Upstate.
Wofford didn't wilt under the Vols' defensive pressure. The Terriers shot 38% despite having every pass contested. Tennessee shot 46% in the first 20 minutes and finished the game with the same percentage.
Barnes, in his 37th year of coaching and ninth at Tennessee, got victory No. 782, passing Lute Olson for 15th on the all-time list in Division I.
Josiah-Jordan James scored eight points, giving him 1,002 for his career with the Vols.
"(James) is a smart player," Barnes said. "He makes a lot of winning plays. He's what we want the program to represent."
Wofford: The Terriers won't be accused of dodging tough competition. They had a three-point exhibition loss to South Carolina, and after this game, they play at Virginia Tech. They went 17-16 last season, and balance will be a key in this campaign. Heading into Tuesday's game, Wofford had six players averaging in double figures, led by Dillon Bailey (16.0 points) and Tripp (15.5). Bailey went 0-for-7 from the field and finished with three points against the Vols.
Tennessee: The Vols are preparing for three weeks away from Knoxville. After a tough tournament in Hawaii - featuring No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Purdue, No. 4 Marquette and No. 11 Gonzaga - Tennessee will play at No. 20 North Carolina in the SEC/ACC Challenge.
Wofford: The Terriers will play their second straight team from a Power Five conference when they visit Virginia Tech on Sunday.
Tennessee: The Vols will head to Honolulu, the site of this year's Maui Invitational because of the wildfires that devastated Maui. Their first game is Nov. 20 against Syracuse.
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