No. 7 Tennessee recorded its third straight wire-to-wire win to start the season, rolling to an 82-61 defeat of Wofford on Tuesday night in Knoxville, Tenn.
Dalton Knecht scored 18 points to lead the Volunteers (3-0), who also never trailed in their victories over Wisconsin and Tennessee Tech. Jordan Gainey had 16 points off the bench and Santiago Vescovi added 11.
The Volunteers shot 40.7 percent (11 of 27) from 3-point range and outscored Wofford 17-5 at the free-throw line.
The Terriers (2-1) averaged 92.0 points in their first two games before shooting just 37.7 percent from the field and 27.0 percent from 3-point range against a Tennessee defense that produced 10 steals and five blocks.
Corey Tripp led Wofford with 19 points. Chase Cormier hit 5 of 7 3-pointers for 15 points off the bench and Jackson Sivills added 10 points.
Ahead by five at halftime, Tennessee stretched the lead to 46-34 with a 10-0 surge early in the second half.
Knecht, named the SEC Player of the Week for the first week of the season, had six points during that run and 14 in the second half.
Wofford whittled the deficit to 47-42 on Cormier’s 3-pointer with 14:18 remaining.
Miscues and misses kept the Terriers from closing the gap. Tennessee scored 19 points off 14 turnovers.
Four points in two seconds from Tobe Awaka pushed the Vols’ advantage to 59-44 with 10:11 left.
The lead swelled to 79-57 on Cameron Carr’s 3-pointer with 1:31 remaining.
The Volunteers extended their nonconference home winning streak to 23 games.
The Vols’ biggest lead of the first half was 34-25 on Vescovi’s 3-pointer with 1:21 left.
Jeremy Lorenz and Cormier answered with back-to-back treys for the Terriers to get within two before Jonas Aidoo’s layup beat the halftime buzzer to put Tennessee up 36-31.
Tennessee improved to 8-0 all-time against Wofford, a Southern Conference program from Spartanburg, S.C. The Volunteers are off until Monday’s Maui Invitational opener against Syracuse in Honolulu.