Tennessee basketball carries thrilling exhibition win over Michigan State to Rocky Top

The Vols prepare for their second exhibition game
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Published: Oct. 30, 2023 at 9:16 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WVLT) - The Tennessee men’s basketball team opened its 2023 season with a thrilling win over preseason fourth-ranked Michigan State, 89-88, Sunday evening in a charity exhibition.

Transfer and fifth-year guard Dalton Knecht led the team in a game-high 28 points for No. 9 Tennessee. Offensive production that helped the Vols to never trail. Tennessee not only never trailed, but led for all but 78 seconds of action in what was nearly a wire-to-wire decision.

The Volunteers ultimately sealed the game on a free throw by junior guard Jordan Gainey, who scored 20 points.

Tennessee forced a turnover on five of Michigan State’s first six possessions and raced out to a 9-0 lead in the opening 3:04.

Junior guard Jahmai Mashack scored all 11 of his points in the second half, while Jonas Aidoo finished with nine points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Tennessee shot 26-of-5 from the floor, including 11-of-21 on 3-point tries, and 26-of-36 at the line.

Tennessee played without two of their returning starters: fifth-year guard Santiago Vescovi, who had some family matters to attend to, and junior guard Zakai Zeigler, who is recovering from injury.

Up next for the Volunteers is a home exhibition, Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against Lenoir-Rhyne at Food City Center.