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No. 17 Tennessee rallies to beat No. 20 Illinois 86-79

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Dalton Knecht scored 21 points and No. 17 Tennessee rallied from a second-half deficit to beat No. 20 Illinois 86-79 Saturday.

Knecht had eight points in a pivotal four-minute stretch when Tennessee (6-3) rallied from a four-point deficit to a six-point lead with just over 13 minutes to play. The Illini were held scoreless in the stretch.

Guard Santiago Vescovi added 12 points and nine rebounds against the much-taller Illini. Jonas Aidoo scored 14 and Josiah-Jordan James had 12 points and seven assists.

Quincy Guerrier and Terrence Shannon scored 22 each to lead Illinois (7-2). Coleman Hawkins had 12. The Illini were limited to 33% shooting from the field.

Tennessee went more than four minutes without scoring in the first half, allowing Illinois to build a 36-34 halftime lead behind 12 points by Guerrier. Knecht, who was limited to 11 minutes by foul trouble, led the Vols with eight.


Illinois: Consistency is a primary objective for the Illini as they begin to close out their December schedule and head into the meat grinder of their Big Ten campaign. The win over Florida Atlantic and relatively strong performance against Tennessee will be efforts to build off.

Tennessee: Having played five teams that are currently ranked in the Top 25 in their first nine games can do nothing but help the Vols down the road. Tennessee begins Southeastern Conference play against Ole Miss Jan. 6.


Illinois: The Illini will have eight days off for exams before hosting Colgate Sunday, Dec. 17.

Tennessee: Host Georgia Southern on Tuesday.


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