ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Dalton Knecht had what Tennessee coach Rick Barnes described as “that look in his eye.”

The Vols needed Knecht's look - and all his points - to avoid a second straight Southeastern Conference loss.

Knecht scored 36 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 2 minutes remaining, and No. 5 Tennessee recovered after losing a 14-point lead to beat Georgia 85-79 on Saturday and end the Bulldogs' 10-game winning streak.

Barnes says he can tell Knecht, a senior transfer from Northern Colorado, has “that look” by his demeanor on the court.

“You can just tell he’s got a little bounce about him,” Barnes said. “... He likes the moment. He does.”

Knecht finished one point shy of the career-high 37 he scored in a loss to North Carolina on Nov. 29. He made five of eight 3-pointers and finished strong, scoring 20 points in the second half.

Knecht’s final 3 gave the Vols an 81-79 lead. He added two free throws with 16 seconds remaining to extend the advantage.

Tennessee (12-4, 2-1 SEC) blew a 42-28 lead in the first half and trailed by 11 points before recovering in the closing minutes.

“I really wish we could have finished the 40 minutes, because we were pretty good for 35,” Georgia coach Mike White said.

When asked if the loss felt like a missed opportunity or a sign of success to come, White said “Both. ... We got out-executed down the stretch by a team that's just better than us right now.”

Jabri Abdur-Rahim led Georgia (12-4, 2-1) with 21 points.

Georgia used a 15-0 run to wipe out a 14-point deficit before seeing the fourth-longest winning streak in school history end. The Bulldogs were denied their first win over a top-five team since Jan. 17, 2004, when they beat No. 5 Kentucky 65-57 at Rupp Arena.

Tennessee regrouped following a 77-72 loss at Mississippi State on Wednesday.

The Vols threatened to put the game out of reach late in the first half, when a steal and basket by Zakai Zeigler gave Tennessee a 42-28 lead.

A 3-pointer by Georgia's Blue Cain, who is from Knoxville, Tennessee, was the highlight of the Bulldogs' 9-0 run to close the first half, leaving the Vols with a 42-37 halftime lead. The Vols missed their last seven shots from the field before the break. Abdur-Rahim and Noah Thomasson opened the second half by sinking 3-pointers, stretching the run to 15-0 and giving the Bulldogs a 43-42 lead.

Barnes called a timeout less than a minute into the half. A layup by Tennessee's Josiah-Jordan James ended the Bulldogs' run, but Georgia kept its momentum. Back-to-back baskets by Thomasson, including a 3-pointer, gave Georgia a 69-58 lead.

Cain sank two 3-pointers in the final 7 minutes, including a jumper after Tennessee pulled to within five points at 75-70.

Thomasson, who missed his first four shots, scored 14 points.


Tennessee: The Vols claimed a 46-38 advantage in rebounds, including a 30-16 edge in the first half, but lacked sufficient scoring depth to ride that strength until the closing minutes. Knecht, who sank five 3-pointers, was joined by Zeigler, who had 18 points, and Jonas Aidoo, with 10, as the only Tennessee players to score in double figures. Aidoo had 15 rebounds and blocked five shots.

Georgia: Depth was a key to the Bulldogs' success. Georgia claimed a 30-11 advantage in bench scoring. RJ Melendez and Silas Demary Jr. each scored 13 points. ... Georgia's last 11-game winning streak came in the 1947-48 season.


Tennessee: Hosts Florida on Tuesday night.

Georgia: Visits South Carolina on Tuesday night.


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