Jan. 18, 2014
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.
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, outrebounding Kentucky, 39-24, led by Stokes' massive prowess down low.
The Vols came out strong in the first half and led by as many as nine on several occasions, but Kentucky took the lead with 45 seconds remaining the half on a James Young 3-point field goal. The Wildcats led 34-32 at halftime.
Stokes and Randle dueled it out in the first half as the Vol posted 12 points and 11 rebounds while Randle a game-high 16 points at intermission. Stokes' 11 rebounds were personally more than the entire Kentucky team total of 10, as Tennessee won the battle on the glass, 23-10 in the first 20 minutes.
With the Vols ahead 22-13, Kentucky chipped away, outscoring Tennessee 21-10 over the final 10:12 of the half to take its first lead of the game.
Stokes opened the game with authority scoring the first six points of the game, in the first 2:19 of action forcing John Calipari to call timeout early in the action. Stokes knocked down a pair of free throws 4:15 into the game giving him eight points, which equalled his total in his previous two games at Rupp Arena.
Tennessee returns home to host Arkansas on Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will tip at 8 p.m., an air on SEC TV and can be heard on the Vol Network.