Vols Fall at Rupp
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Tennessee once again battled hard at Rupp Arena, but for the eighth year in a row, the Vols suffered a loss on Kentucky’s home floor. On Saturday, Tennessee lost to the 13th-ranked Wildcats, 74-66, before 24,246.
The Vols (11-6, 2-2 SEC) led for nearly the entire first half and were within two possessions for the first 9:27 of the second half, but Kentucky took control of the game midway through the second.
Jarnell Stokes had a monster game for the Vols as he tallied 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for ninth double-double this season. Jordan McRae added 17 points while Jeronne Maymon scored 12 .
Kentucky’s twins Andrew Harrison (26) and Aaron Harrison (14) combined for 40 points while Julius Randle notched 18. For Andrew Harrison, it was a new career-high, surpassing his former best of 18. The Wildcats improved to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in the SEC.
The Wildcats were a near perfect 23-of-24 from foul line, making their first 17 attempts in the game. While Tennessee struggled late in the game and finished 16-of-23 from the stripe. Kentucky came into the game shooting 65.9 percent on free throws.
The Vols and Wildcats were within five points for the first 9:27 of the second half. Andrew Harrison’s pair of free throws with 10:33 left in the game gave Kentucky a seven-point lead at 51-44. Aaron Harrison canned a 3-pointer with 8:39 left to give Kentucky a 56-48 lead.
The Harrisons combined for 9 consecutive Kentucky points to put UK ahead by 10 at 58-48 with seven minutes on the clock.
The Vols made a push in the final minutes as Darius Thompson knocked down the second 3-pointer of the game (2-of-13) for Tennessee to cut the deficit to six at 64-58 with three minutes left.
Tennessee cut the deficit to six two more times in the final minute, but were unable to overcome Kentucky’s near-perfect free throw shooting.
Kentucky finished the game 7-of-16 for 44 percent on 3-pointers after coming into the game shooting 30.5 from beyond the arc.
Tennessee dominated the glass all game, out rebounding Kentucky, 39-24, led by Stokes’ massive prowess down low. The Vols had 20 offensive rebounds.