The Tennessee Volunteers won their fifth game in a row when playing a defending national champion at home. The Vols knocked off the the Kentucky Wildcats 88-58 in a convincing win at Thompson Boling arena on Saturday.
The Volunteers desperately needed a win against Kentucky to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive. Tennessee led 50-26 at half time, and led by as many as 39 in the second half.
Trae Golden led the Vols with 24 points, 8 assists and no turnovers. Jordan McRae added 15 points and 6 rebounds for Tennessee.
Jarnell Stokes missed his 7th double-double in a row, finishing the game with 9 points and 9 rebounds.
Kenny Hall, who didn’t play at all in the Volunteer’s win against Vanderbilt, scored 12 points off the bench, adding 4 rebounds.
Kentucky was led in scoring by forward Kyle Wiltjer with 18 points.
Tennessee was perfect from beyond the arc, hitting all 5 three points attempts in the game. The Vols shot 58% for the game, while holding the Wildcats to 38% shooting.
Kentucky missed the presence of injured forward Nerlens Noel, the team’s leading rebounder, as the Wildcats got out rebounded 33-20.
The Loss was the worst that John Calipari has suffered while being head coach at Kentucky.
The 25th ranked Wildcats will likely fall out the top 25 for only the second time during Calipari’s tenure with the team.
With the win Tennessee pulls even to 6-6 in conference play, and improves to 14-10 overall. Kentucky falls to 8-4 in the conference and 17-8 overall.
Tennessee will look to build on their three game winning streak Tuesday night at home against LSU. This will be the only meeting between the two teams this year. The game tips off at 7:00 PM EST and can be seen nationally on ESPNU.