Tennessee blows out Arkansas 92-63

Razorbacks nearly match their worst loss at Bud Walton Arena
Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht (3) drives past Arkansas guard Davonte Davis (4) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

Jonas Aidoo had 23 points and 12 rebounds as No. 8 Tennessee cruised past Arkansas 92-63 on Wednesday night, the biggest blowout in 55 meetings between the teams.

Dalton Knecht, the SEC’s second-leading scorer entering the game, finished two points above his season average with 22 for the Volunteers (18-6, 8-3). Jordan Gainey added 17 points and Josiah-Jordan James had 12.

After the score was tied 18-all, Tennessee went on an 18-5 run midway through the first half to take control. Then, a 15-3 spurt early in the second half turned this one into a laugher.

“We just felt like we had to get them to shoot 3s as much as we could and try to keep them from getting in the lane,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. “Tonight, we stayed with it. We showed some discipline there.”

The Razorbacks (12-12, 3-8) had no response for Tennessee inside. The Volunteers scored 48 points in the paint, several on layups and dunks following Arkansas turnovers. Tennessee finished with 28 points off 15 Razorbacks giveaways.

Aidoo drew a bulk of the praise from Barnes after the game.

“When he plays with force to the rim like he did tonight — I thought he played much quicker,” Barnes said. “Jonas, I thought he looked relaxed shooting his 15-footers. But what he did at the rim and in the second half was really big.”

Arkansas shot just 26% in the second half, totaling 23 points. The only Razorbacks player who scored in double figures was Tramon Mark, who finished with 12 points.

WORST EVER

Tennessee’s 29-point win not only was the Vols’ largest margin of victory over Arkansas, it nearly broke the building record. Joseph Pinion’s three-point play with 16 seconds left was the only thing that kept Arkansas from matching its worst loss at Bud Walton Arena — a 32-point defeat against Auburn in early January.

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee has visions of getting a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. That last happened in 2019, when the Volunteers finished in a tie for second in the SEC with three losses.

Arkansas is in danger of its worst season since 2009-10, the last time the Razorbacks finished below .500.

UP NEXT

Arkansas will visit Mississippi State on Saturday. Tennessee plays at Vanderbilt on Saturday.