KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Dalton Knecht scored 24 points and No. 5 Tennessee beat Texas A&M 86-51 on Saturday night to tie Alabama for the Southeastern Conference lead and give coach Rick Barnes his 800th Division I victory.

The 69-year-old Barnes became the 14th coach to win 800 games at Division I schools. He also coached George Mason, Providence, Clemson and Texas, winning 402 games in 17 seasons with the Longhorns. He has 196 in nine seasons at Tennessee.

“Like the motto of our program, it's not about me,” Barnes said about his milestone. "God blessed me with players, coaches and administrations. I thought I could do it on my own and I messed up. I'm glad (God) didn't quit on me.”

Jonas Aidoo had 18 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks to help the Volunteers (21-6, 11-3) win their fourth straight game. Zakai Zeigler had 14 assists and nine rebounds and Tobe Awaka added 12 points. Tennessee shot 52.4% from the field.

“(Zeigler) is underrated,” Texas A&M coach Buzz Williams said. “He's an elite on-ball defender. He's the engine. He's the conduit on so many things they do.”

Barnes was upset with Zeigler's effort earlier in the week in a narrow victory over Missouri.

“He said I didn't have my normal poise,” Zeigler said about Barnes. “I didn't have the swagger I usually have.”

That wasn't the case Saturday night.

“(Zeigler) was locked in the last couple days,” Barnes said. “He impacts the game in so many ways.”

Tyrese Radford and Wade Taylor IV led Texas A&M (15-12, 6-8) with 11 points each. The Aggies shot 27.3% from the field in dropping their fourth in a row.

“We are reliant on offensive rebounds (the Aggies had just 10),” Williams said. "We are reliant on getting fouled (they shot 50% - 10 of 20 from the line).

Tennessee dominated the boards, 50-33.

“(A&M is) one of the best rebounding teams in the country,” Barnes said.

Santiago Vescovi hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to put Tennessee up 37-27 at halftime.


Texas A&M: Two weeks ago, the Aggies couldn’t miss from beyond the arc in their 16-point win over Tennessee. They hit 8 of 16 3-pointers in the first half and were up by 14 before the Vols knew what hit them. … Andersson Garcia was dominant on the boards with 17 rebounds.

Tennessee: The Vols control their own destiny for a double-bye in the SEC Tournament. … Tennessee continues to get production from different areas of its roster. Earlier this week it was Awaka off the bench to rescue the Vols against Missouri.


Texas A&M: Host No. 20 South Carolina on Wednesday night.

Tennessee: Host No. 14 Auburn on Wednesday night.


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