#8/9 VOLS CRUISE TO 92-63 VICTORY AT ARKANSAS

Courtesy / UT Athletics

#8/9 VOLS CRUISE TO 92-63 VICTORY AT ARKANSAS

Courtesy / UT Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Tennessee men’s basketball team claimed its first road win over Arkansas in over 15 years with an impressive 92-63 triumph Wednesday night at Bud Walton Arena.

No. 8/9 Tennessee (18-6, 8-3 SEC) led for over 35 minutes and by as many as 32 points behind a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double by junior forward Jonas Aidoo, who led all players in both categories.

After the teams split the first 36 points, the Volunteers went on a 12-2 run in just 3:15 to go ahead by double figures, 30-20, with 8:40 on the clock. Arkansas (12-12, 3-8 SEC) used a 12-3 surge to make it a one-possession game, but Tennessee scored five points in 20 seconds to go back up by eight, 40-32, with 3:15 left in the frame.

The visitors’ lead sat at six, 46-40, at the break behind 25 points from Aidoo (13) and fifth-year guard Dalton Knecht (12), with the duo totaling seven dunks, already a season high for Tennessee in a full game. At the other end, Arkansas shot 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from deep after opening 4-of-5 through eight minutes and a perfect 3-of-3 through three-and-a-half. Both teams shot over 51.0 percent from the floor and each went 6-of-7 (85.7 percent) at the line.

The Volunteers scored eight of the first 10 points in the opening two minutes of the second session to go up by 12, 54-42, but were far from done building their advantage. They soon went on a dominant 17-2 run in just 3:43—15 of the points came in the first 2:21—to go up by two-dozen, 73-49, with 11:24 remaining.

Tennessee extended its cushion all the way to 30, 85-55, with 4:48 left. It marked the third time this season, including the first in SEC play, the Volunteers held a margin of 30-plus and they twice stretched it as high as 32 in the closing minutes.

The final score differential ended up as 29, good for the Volunteers’ second-largest triumph on the road this century and second-largest against a Division I foe in the past 49 seasons (1975-2024). It also marked Arkansas’ third-largest home setback of the past 72 seasons (1952-2024).

To score his 23 points, his third-most as a collegian, Aidoo shot a dazzling 11-of-14 from the floor, good for a new career high in makes. His 12 rebounds also marked his third-highest total in a Tennessee uniform, while his six dunks set a carer best.

Knecht finished with 22 points, his ninth time in the last 10 games amassing 20-plus. He shot 7-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-10 at the line, adding a career-high-tying three blocks and a co-team-best two steals.

Junior guard Jordan Gainey produced 17 points, one shy of his season high, on a stellar 6-of-8 clip from the field. The Tucson, Ariz., native went 2-of-3 from deep and hit all three of his free throws, as well as tied for the team lead with two steals.

Fifth-year guard Josiah-Jordan James added 12 points, shooting 4-of-7 from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 at the line. Junior guard Zakai Zeigler chipped in nine points and a game-high six assists in the victory.

Junior guard Tramon Mark finished as the lone Razorback with nine-plus points, compiling 12 on a 4-of-10 field-goal ledger.

Tennessee held Arkansas to 37.9 percent (22-of-58) shooting, including a 25.8 percent (8-of-31) ledger in the second half. The home team went just 1-of-13 (7.7 percent) in a span of 10-plus minutes late in the second frame until hitting their final shot with 16 ticks left.

Tennessee, meanwhile, logged a season-best 56.9 percent (33-of-58) field-goal mark to go along with an 87.5 percent (21-of-24) clip at the stripe. It had a 48-22 edge in paint points and a 12-5 advantage in second-chance points.

Up next for the Volunteers is a home matchup with Vanderbilt, slated for Saturday at 6 p.m., live on SEC Network from Food City Center.

To keep up with the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team on social media, follow @Vol_Hoops on Instagram and X/Twitter, as well as /tennesseebasketball on Facebook.  

TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS POSTGAME NOTES
• Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes now owns 797 victories in his career, eight behind Rick Byrd for No. 14 on the all-time wins list (min. 10 years at a Division I school).
• Barnes also passed Rick Byrd for sole possession of the No. 12 spot on the all-time games coached list (min. 10 seasons in DI) with 1,208.
• The Volunteers are now 70-22 (.761) across 92 outings as an AP top-10 team in Barnes’ nine-year tenure, all in the past seven seasons.
• Tennessee improved to 7-2 in its last nine outings against Arkansas, after dropping each of the prior six, and has now won (at least) three straight versus the Razorbacks for the fourth time ever, including the second under Barnes.
• Wednesday marked the first road win for Tennessee at Arkansas since Feb. 4, 2009, snapping a seven-game skid, as well as its fifth-ever road triumph over the Razorbacks.
• Tennessee has been ranked in eight of its past 10 outings versus the Razorbacks, posting a 6-2 record in those contests, including a 5-1 mark with Arkansas unranked.
• The only time this century Tennessee won by more points on the road was Jan. 7, 2023, when it logged a 43-point decision, 85-42, at South Carolina.
• The only other road win by more points in the past 49 seasons (1975-2024) came against a non-Division I foe, American (P.R.), when it won by 44, 102-58, on Dec. 21, 1999.
• The only two larger home losses for Arkansas in the past 72 seasons (1952-2024) were a 32-point setback, 83-51, against Auburn on Jan. 6, 2024, and a 30-point defeat, 98-68, versus Florida on Feb. 18, 2012.
• The last time the Volunteers scored 90-plus points twice in a span of three road games came just over five years ago, when it did so in back-to-back contests at South Carolina (92 on Jan. 29, 2019) and Texas A&M (93 on Feb. 2, 2019).
• The only other games this season in which Tennessee led by 30-plus were on Nov. 6, 2023, versus Tennessee Tech (40) and Jan. 2 against Norfolk State (37).
• Tennessee has now shot 50-plus percent in both halves of a game in two of its last three outings, as it also did so Feb. 7 versus LSU.
• The Volunteers’ prior best field-goal clip this season was a 55.6 percent (35-of-63) ledger on Nov. 29, 2023, at North Carolina.
• At least one Volunteer has scored 20-plus points in 14 of the past 16 games, with a total of 18 such performances in that stretch.
• The Volunteers shot 60.9 percent (14-of-23) after the break, their first time reaching 60 percent in a session since hitting that exact mark on an 18-of-30 ledger before the intermission against Florida on Jan. 16.
• After having no dunks at Texas A&M in its last outing, just its third time with zero this season, Tennessee posted a season-best seven in the first 17 minutes—two came on the first two possessions—with Aidoo (four) and Knecht (three) each tying their highs for a full game.
• The Volunteers ended the night with nine dunks, three above their prior best this season, with Aidoo alone logging six, surpassing his previous top total by two.
• Following its 4-of-5 start from 3-point range, Arkansas made just two of its next 12 attempts from beyond the arc.
• As announced prior to tip-off, freshman forward J.P. Estrella did not play due to a left leg injury and his status is day-to-day moving forward.
• James logged his 111th start, passing Josh Richardson (2011-15) for sole possession of the No. 10 spot in program history.
• Zeigler surpassed both Dane Bradshaw (2003-07) and tied Fred Jenkins (1983-87) to enter the top 10 on Tennessee’s all-time assists leaderboard, now with 388.
• Aidoo registered his eighth double-double as a collegian, his seventh of the season and his fifth in the last 11 contests.
• The double-digit rebounding performance marked the 11th of Aidoo’s career, including his ninth in 2023-24 and his sixth in the past 11 games.
• Aidoo’s 11 field goals marked a new career high, surpassing the prior top tally of 10, which he recorded twice earlier this season.
• The 78.6 percent (11-of-14) field-goal clip for Aidoo marked the best ledger for a Volunteer with at least five makes this season, besting the 76.5 percent (13-of-17) tally by Knecht at North Carolina on Nov. 29, 2023.
• Aidoo also amassed his third-career 20-point showing, all of which came this season with 10-plus rebounds in each.
• Aidoo is the third Volunteer in at least the last 19 seasons (2005-24) with three 20-point, 10-rebound double-doubles in a single campaign, joining Jarnell Stokes (eight in 2013-14) and Grant Williams (four in 2018-19).
• In just his 91st Division I outing across his three seasons at that level, Knecht reached 500 made field goals with his second make of the night and ended it with 505.
• Knecht tied a career high with three blocked shots and has two-plus blocks in each of the last three games, tallying eight total, after he had multiple just thrice in his prior 31 appearances, including the first 21 of 2023-24.
• Knecht is the sixth SEC player in the last 13 years (2011-24) to record 16-plus points in 10 straight league games in a single season, joining LSU’s Cameron Thomas (2020-21), Georgia’s J.J. Frazier (2016-17), South Carolina’s Sindarius Thornwell (2016-17), Kentucky’s Jamal Murray  (2015-16) and LSU’s Ben Simmons (2015-16).
• The last Tennessee player to record 20-plus points nine times in a 10-game span was Kevin Punter Jr., who did so 10 times in an 11-contest stretch from Nov. 22, 2015-Jan. 6, 2016.
• Knecht has now scored double-digit points in both halves of a contest on nine occasions this season, including in each of the last three games and seven of the past nine.

Courtesy / UT Athletics

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