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Knecht scores 39 to lead No. 4 Tennessee past No. 11 Auburn

Eakin Howard / Getty Images Sport / Getty

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dalton Knecht matched his career high with 39 points, including 27 in the second half, to lift No. 4 Tennessee to a 92-84 victory over No. 11 Auburn on Wednesday night.

The Volunteers (22-6, 12-3 Southeastern Conference) trailed 63-55 before Knecht took over the game, scoring 11 straight Tennessee points and 20 of 23. His 3-pointer tied it at 66-all with 9:58 left, and his jumper with 8:38 remaining put the Vols ahead to stay.

Zakai Zeigler had 17 points and nine assists and Jonas Aidoo scored 14 points for SEC-leading Tennessee.

Johni Broome had 23 points and nine rebounds for Auburn (21-7, 10-5) and Chad Baker-Mazara scored 13. Jaylin Williams, who was limited while coming back from a knee injury, finished with 12 points.

The Tigers built that eight-point lead with a 10-1 run that included five points by Williams. But Auburn had no answers for Knecht's scoring binge.

Knecht finished 12 of 21 from the field, 5 of 8 from 3-point range and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. The 6-foot-6 senior also scored 39 points in a win over Florida on Jan. 16.

Knecht had 12 points at halftime and Aidoo had 10 as Tennessee led 44-40.


Auburn: Having to cobble together a lineup while Williams (13.0 points, 4.7 rebounds) recovers from knee injury has been a challenge. Freshman Aden Holloway stepped up against Georgia last week, and Baker-Mazara and Chaney Johnson have also helped shoulder the load.

Tennessee: Aidoo is beginning to play with more passion and aggressiveness, going hard to the rim to complement his soft touch. He has picked up the intensity without getting into foul trouble.


Auburn: Hosts Mississippi State, which beat the Tigers earlier this season, on Saturday.

Tennessee: At SEC title contender Alabama on Saturday night. Tennessee beat the Crimson Tide 91-71 on Jan. 20.


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