Dalton Knecht scored 24 points and Josiah-Jordan James added 14 as ninth-ranked Tennessee never trailed en route to an 80-70 nonconference road victory over Wisconsin on Friday night.
Knecht, a fifth-year transfer from Northern Colorado, hit 8 of 15 shots and 7 of 9 free throws. Jonas Aidoo and Jordan Gainey added 10 points apiece for the Vols (2-0).
AJ Storr, a sophomore transfer from St. John’s, had a team-high 17 points for the Badgers (1-1). Steven Crowl added 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and Chucky Hepburn added 13 points.
Tyler Wahl, who missed his only shot in a scoreless first half, scored on a short jumper to pull Wisconsin within 54-53 with 11:45 remaining.
The Vols answered with a 14-5 run, going in front 68-58 on Aidoo’s layup with 4:45 remaining.
The Badgers got no closer than six points the rest of the way, the last time at 74-68 on a free throw by Wahl with 59 seconds left.
Tennessee had a 42-32 advantage on points in the paint and a 23-8 edge in points off the bench. The Vols shot 50 percent, making 28 of 56 shots, but 5 of 17 from deep, missing all eight 3-point attempts in the second half.
Wisconsin was just 6 of 24 from 3-point range and 14 of 23 from the free-throw line.
The Vols closed the first half with a 12-4 run for a 43-35 lead at the break.
Hepburn hit a 3-pointer to tie the score 31-31 with 4:19 left, but the Badgers made just one of their final five shots.
Tennessee shot 55.6 percent in the first half, including 5 of 9 from beyond the arc.
Tennessee hit eight of its first 12 shots, taking a 19-11 lead on a three-point play by Santiago Vescovi.
–Field Level Media
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