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Tennessee Basketball proves they have more than one weapon in their arsenal.

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Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht almost single-handedly beat No. 11 Auburn on Wednesday night.

But Knecht’s teammates had their fingerprints all over the fourth-ranked Vols 81-74 victory at No. 13 Alabama on Saturday night.

Tennessee (23-6, 13-3) rallied from a seven-point second-half deficit by holding the Crimson Tide (20-9, 12-4) without a field goal for over nine minutes to secure a victory in what has been a House of Horrors for UT – the Vols were 5-22 at Coleman Coliseum dating back to 1981.

While Knecht was scoring a pedestrian 13 points – 12 below his average in SEC play – Zakai Ziegler, Jonas Aidoo, Josiah-Jordan James, Santiago Vescovi and Jahmai Mashack were picking up the slack.

Despite shooting just 5-for-18 from the field, Ziegler scored 18 points, hitting four 3s, making 4-of-6 free throws and dishing out four assists.

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Aidoo had 12 points and seven rebounds, making two clutch free throws with 29 seconds left.

James had a double-double — 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds — to go with three assists. He hit a key 3 with 2 minutes left for a 75-70 lead.

Mashack contributed eight points, six rebounds and four assists.

Santiago Vescovi had eight points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Knecht, who had 39 points against Auburn, was 5-for-14 from the field, 1-for-7 on 3s.

“We’ve got a lot of these guys that have been with us for a long time and they’ve been in games like this,” said Tennessee coach Rick Barnes. “We knew it would be a difficult game. We know how explosive they can be.

“The older guys, I thought they were terrific.”

The win vaulted the Vols into sole possession of first place in the SEC and put them in control of their destiny. UT closes the season at No. 18 South Carolina then hosts No. 16 Kentucky. One win would clinch a share of first place in the SEC. A sweep would put UT in contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s out of our hands now,” said Alabama coach Nate Oats of the SEC regular-season title. “We still got a shot at it but we’re going to have to get some help to earn a share of it at this point. It’s a little disappointing.

“They’re a tough, veteran team. They had a lot of guys step up and make big shots.”

Tennessee’s defense was spectacular in the final 10 minutes. The Tide went 1-for-17 late in the game and didn’t score a field goal from the 10:17 mark to 1:14. It missed 13 3s in a row.

Three of Alabama’s starters were held to a combined 11 points. Mark Sears scored 22 while Aaron Estrada had 16 and Nick Pringle 13.

Alabama, No. 1 in the nation in offensive efficiency, shot 38.3% from the field and only 9-of-37 from 3-point range.

UT wasn’t much better, hitting 36.4% from the field and 30% on 3s (12 of 40).

Tennessee led 39-29 in the first half but Bama closed on a 12-0 run. The Tide expanded the lead to seven before UT’s comeback. “At no point in time did you see them flinch,” Barnes said of his team. “They just kept saying, `Hey, we have to stay in it, keep grinding, keep grinding.’ And they did that.”

Alabama had won 16 SEC home games in a row and had scored at least 80 points in nine straight SEC games.

Tennessee won consecutive games against a ranked opponent for the first time since 2007. And UT is 14-3 in its last 17 games against a top 15 opponent.

Winning without Knecht carrying the team was important.

“I don’t want our guys standing around watching Dalton play,” Barnes said.

This past week has been significant for Tennessee.

It proved the Vols can win with Knecht carrying the load.

It proved the team can win when Knecht has an off game.

Both could be important come NCAA Tournament time.

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