NCAA

Dalton Knecht announce his resignation and departure from the Tennessee Vols earlier today….

Dalton Knecht announce his resignation and departure from the Tennessee Vols earlier today….

“I don’t know, just not as good as him” — Dalton Knecht drops opinion on his game being similar to Suns star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee basketball defeats South Carolina, clinches outright SEC regular-season title

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee basketball continued its winning ways on Wednesday in Colonial Life Arena.

The No. 4 Vols defeated No. 17 South Carolina 66-61 to clinch the SEC regular-season title, outright.

Dalton Knecht led the way for the Vols (24-6, 14-3 SEC) with 26 points while shooting from the field. Jonas Aidoo also had a good night, chipping in 14 to help defeat the Gamecocks (24-6, 12-5).

“Well, obviously I’m extremely proud, but I’m so blessed,” Barnes said. “The good Lord has blessed with a group of guys that I think anybody in the country would want to coach.”

How it happened: Tennessee basketball clinches regular-season title  

It was quickly apparent that the officials were not going to blow the whistle much on Wednesday, and it gave way for a physical matchup between the Vols and Gamecocks.

Knecht opened the game with a layup through contact and quickly followed it up with a 3-pointer for a quick five points.

Jonas Aidoo also got involved, scoring eight points in the first half.

Tennessee’s defense finally gave through to some offense late in the first half. The Vols held South Carolina to just two field goals in the final 7:34 of the game.

Knecht hit back-to-back 3-pointers, and Tennessee was rolling on a 14-3 run as the first half winded down. The Gamecocks hit a 3-pointer of their own off a Jordan Gainey turnover, but Zakai Zeigler hit a middie to end the first half.

The Vols entered halftime holding onto a 35-24 lead.

Tennessee got the lead to as much as 13 in the second half, but a 6-0 South Carolina run cut into that. The offense had an over three-minute scoring drought at the 12:42 mark in the second half.

Zeigler finally broke the scoring drought right below four minutes with a pair of free throws, but the offense was still sputtering.

Knecht got his hands on the basketball, hitting a corner 3-pointer that he was fouled on. He completed the 4-point play and created a 6-0 run for the Vols at the 11-minute mark.

“The one thing about Dalton, he’s not afraid,” Barnes said. “He’s not. He’s not. He’s got a real short memory and he’s very confident. He thinks he can score. He thinks every shot he shoots is gonna go in. And so he’s a guy that I do think the guys feed off of him. I think he does give them confidence, but I did tell Z(akai), I said, ‘Hey, you got to get busy right here’ because I felt like we were just putting too much on him (Knecht).”

South Carolina responded, cutting the run and the lead, but Zeigler knocked down another 3-pointer.

The Vols held onto a 51-39 lead at the seven-minute mark in the second half.

South Carolina made a push again at the four-minute mark in the second half. The Vols went over four minutes without a field goal, opening the window for the Gamecocks to cut the lead to single digits.

South Carolina cut the lead to seven with 2:34 left in the game after a B.J. Mack second-chance 3-pointer. Knecht hit a mid-range bucket, and South Carolina’s Ta’Lon Cooper knocked down a 3-pointer that cut the lead to six.

South Carolina cut the lead down to three, but Aidoo hit a free throw to make it a two-possession game. The Gamecocks missed a 3-pointer and Tennessee held on to win.

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