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MENS BASKETBALL


Tennessee 62, Texas 58

Tennessee 62, Texas 58

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dalton Knecht scored 18 points and made four free throws in the final 8.8 seconds as Tennessee topped Texas 62-58 on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

Jonas Aidoo had 11 points and Tober Awaka added 10 for the Volunteers (26-8), helping coach Rick Barnes beat the team he coached for 17 seasons. The Vols have reached the Sweet 16 three times in nine seasons under Barnes, but have yet to advance out of that round in that stretch.

Tyrese Hunter and Chendall Weaver each had 13 points for seventh-seeded Texas (21-13).

The Vols shot just 29% from the field in the first half, but managed to take a 38-29 lead into the locker room.

Knecht struggled early on, missing his first four shots, including an air ball on a fadeaway jumper. The AP All-American converted his first field goal with 90 seconds remaining in the first half, putting Tennessee up by 11.

Knecht began to flex his muscles with a pair of second-half dunks, one of which came after he grabbed a missed transition 3 in the air and jammed it home with two hands.

But the Longhorns cut the lead to 45-42 with seven minutes left after Max Abmas buried a 3, forcing Barnes to call a timeout.

Disu then came up with the defensive play of the game, blocking Aidoo on a drive to give Texas a chance to tie it up. But Disu missed a layup and Hunter couldn't convert on a putback, and the Longhorns could never get the big shot they needed.

After Knecht hit two free throws with 8.8 seconds left, Hunter splashed a 3 from 28 feet to cut the lead to 60-58. But Texas sent Knecht back to the line with 3 seconds left and he knocked down two more free throws.

BIG PICTURE

Texas: The Longhorns struggled down the stretch of the season. They lost to Kansas State in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament, killing some of their momentum heading into the NCAA tourney.

Tennessee: Knecht has given the Vols the big-time scorer they need to possibly advance out of the Sweet 16 for the first time under Barnes.

Tennessee athletics press release

March 23, 2024





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