KNOXVILLE, Tenn. December 9, 2023– The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team turned a five-point second-half deficit into a 12-point lead en route to an 86-79 victory over No. 20/18 Illinois in a top-20 showdown Saturday afternoon at Food City Center.
Fifth-year guard Dalton Knecht scored 21 points, including 13 after halftime, to pace a quintet of double-digit scorers for No. 17/13 Tennessee (6-3) in front of a sold-out crowd.
“Maybe the most focused I thought our guys were in terms of the details of our scouting report all year. I thought they were really, really locked in in terms of knowing what we had to do on the defensive end,” Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes said. “We rebounded the ball against an outstanding rebounding team. They really are relentless and … it’s a nice win against a team that’s going to win a lot of basketball games this year and they’re as good as anybody that we’ve played up to this point. Really great effort from our guys.”