KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee never took a lead inside Rupp Arena, the Vols falling to Kentucky for the second time this season.
The Wildcats ran the show in the first half. Tennessee was 1-of-9 from the field early on until Jahami Mashack added a much needed layup with less than 12 minutes remaining in the half. The play closed the gap to six, but Kentucky quickly took off.
Tennessee showed major struggles offensively in the first half. Shooting under 10 percent from three and creating very few second chance opportunities, the Vols quickly found themselves in a hole.
While both teams displayed tight defensive efforts at first, the Wildcats found a way to break through for 39 points before the break, putting the Vols at a 20-point deficit heading into the second half.
Tennessee struck first coming out of the locker room, the Vols putting themselves on a 7-0 run as they chipped away at the Wildcat’s lead. Kentucky wasn’t able to even attempt a shot for nearly the first two minutes of the half.
After ending the first without a single point, Santiago Vescovi was on a roll after the break. The Tennessee guard scored 15 points in just over eight minutes. Vescovi lead the team in scoring, finishing with 17 points.
Jahmai Mashack following closely behind Vescovi in the Vols scoring effort, the sophomore produced 16 points before fouling out in the final minute.
Over 18 minutes went by with Kentucky having a double-digit lead, Uros Plavsic snapped it to nine with a jumper at the eight minute mark of the second half.
The first half hole proved too difficult for the Vols to dig out of, the Wildcats earning their second win against Tennessee this season, 66-54.