Tennessee 75, Vanderbilt 62

Tennessee 75, Vanderbilt 62


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Dalton Knecht scored 12 straight in the second half and finished with 32 points, rallying fifth-ranked Tennessee past in-state rival Vanderbilt 75-62.

Tennessee trailed by as much as nine in the first half and 35-30 at halftime. Vanderbilt, winless in the Southeastern Conference, led 43-39 early in the second half.

Then the graduate transfer from Northern Colorado and two-time reigning SEC player of the week took over. Knecht hit a 3. His turnaround jumper in the paint put the Vols ahead to stay at 44-43. He drove for a layup and finished his personal 12-5 run with another 3 to put Tennessee up 51-48 with 11:57 left.

Santiago Vescovi added 12 points as Tennessee (15-4, 5-1) won its fourth straight and 11th in 12 games. Zakai Zeigler and Jordan Gainey each had 10 points.

Vanderbilt (5-14, 0-6) remains one of two winless programs in the SEC with its sixth straight loss to start league play.

Tyrin Lawrence led the Commodores with 21 points. Ezra Manjon had 14 points.

Vanderbilt battled Tennessee hard, looking nothing like a team that had just five wins coming in. The Commodores instead looked for the first 20 minutes like the squad that knocked off then-No. 6 Tennessee on a buzzer-beating 3 by Lawrence nearly a year ago at Memorial Gym.

These rivals separated by less than 200 miles swapped the lead four times with five ties before a crowd filled with mostly orange. Tennessee never led by more than 23-17, and Vanderbilt led by as much as nine with an 18-3 run capped by four straight free throws by Manjon for a 35-26 edge with 1:17 left.


Tennessee: The Vols looked rusty after having a full week between games, though Vanderbilt had the same break with no issues. The SEC’s second-best free-throw shooters came in averaging 76.7% at the line. On the raised court at Memorial, they missed six of their first 10 free throws.

Vanderbilt: This was the fourth ranked opponent this season for the Commodores and the third in four games. The Commodores have dealt with injuries from the start as one of four teams in the country to use 12 different starting lineups. Stackhouse has had a fully healthy roster for only two games coming into Saturday.

Tennessee athletics press release

January 27, 2024